How to set your 2018 on fire: Part 17 of 18
17. I will improve my digital discernment
Digital detoxes, they are all the rage, are they not? Pretty much the answer to almost any ill. Bit anxious: have a digital detox. Stressed out: digital detox. Exhausted: definitely a digital detox.
I think we can do better than a digital detox because a detox is a short-term fix. By definition it’s a snappy way to rid ourselves of toxins before we inevitably go and do the exact same thing again.
Basically we detox, we feel great, we make all sorts of good intention promises, then we retox. We are back snarfing the Pringles and the G&Ts a week later like the juice cleanse never happened (despite what we might have proclaimed about vegetables being life the minute it finished).
The principle works the same digitally. You go offline for three to five days. Feel really uncomfortable for the first day, twitchingly reaching for your phone by reflex, but by day 3 you’ve not felt this relaxed in years! You are so going to keep that up! Who needs a phone!
A week later back on planet Earth you are checking social media a dozen times a day as per. We detox. We bounce back.
The pull to our phones is strong. It’s estimated that we check our phones between 120 and 200 times a day. A DAY. Yikes.
I prefer an ongoing process of digital discernment over a digital detox any day. This is about curating your digital space in a way that improves your mood and physiology in the long term, reducing stress and “comparisonitis”. It’s about quality over quantity; gradually improving the quality of your digital life over time.
This might include things like:
- Unfollowing a #thinspiration PT on Insta that although is supposed to be #likesuperinspirational actually always makes you feel bad about yourself.
- Removing yourself from Facebook groups that don’t add value to your life but bore or annoy you.
- Not responding to work emails out of hours. Period. If it’s that urgent they can call you. (I know, old skool).
- Unfollowing that family member/friend /acquaintance who’s endless #humblebrag updates on their political views/their MLM business selling oil/facecream/shakes or their 900th cute dog/ couple/baby pic makes you grit your teeth.
- Reading the comments on anything to do with theNRA, MAFS, GDPR or anything else that drives you to distraction.
There has been much made recently, and rightly so, of the way the data we have (wittingly or unwittingly) put out there digitally has been used to manipulate or sell to us. The temperature has suddenly been raised aboutthe information we put out. What also deserves some focus is what we are taking in. Our digital diet has a bigger-than-you-think impact on your mood and motivation.
Become as discerning with your digital space as you are with your diet. Does it make you feel good or bad? Is it nourishing your psyche or soul?
Curate your content with discernment. Look for quality, and continue to refine it long-term.
More columns in this series
- See How to set your 2018 on fire: Part 1
- Part 2: I will face forward
- Part 3: In 2018 my body will move my mind
- Part 4: In 2018 I will speak up, not eat up
- Part 5: In 2018 I will (sometimes) accept the unacceptable
- Part 6: I will set boundaries around my phone
- Part 7: I will be happily less than perfect
- Part 8: Let them do them. You do you.
- Part 9: I will claim my power
- Part 10: I will be my own cheerleader
- Part 11: I will say something when there is nothing that can be said
- Part 12: I will be a deep listener
- Part 13: I will be mindful of the stories I tell myself
- Part 14: Change your world by making your bed
- Part 15: I will improve sleep quality (not just quantity)
- Part 16: I will decide to not be scared
Through her online Happiness programme “Wellbeing Warriors”, life coach Louise Thompson helps people unlock their happiest and healthiest life. Sign up at louisethompson.com and find more from Louise at bite.co.nz/wellbeing