20 practices for digital well being in 2020

It’s 2020. We need to realize that technology is not going away anytime soon. The physical and emotional/mental affect is has on our human-ness has not been fully grasped, but we all feel it. Communication has changed. Workspaces have changed. People have changed. It is time to treat digital tech like the paradigm shift that it is. They’ve even created a model of what we could look like in 20 years if work-spaces aren’t updated for technology.

Feeling burnt out at your computer desk? Over whelmed by the screen? Love technology but hate it sometimes? It’s time to take care of yourself and your digital well being. I wrote this once I started to feel the effects of living digitally, both for fun and work. Some of are lives are all-digital, all-day, every-day, for both work and play. This list is to help balance your physical and mental well being while living and working in a digital world. (These are in no particular order.)

  1. Don’t send essay-length text messages. When it takes an entire essay to get your point across, something is amiss. Sleep on it before sending that long message.
  2. Hide emails that agitate you in any way. When you see something that irritates you, it sticks with you and affects your mood even if you don’t realize it. Removing agitating messages from your direct line of site will help cut down on distractions and time spent managing emotions.
  3. Install Undo Send. It’s a feature available on Gmail and Gsuite accounts. It gives you 5-30 seconds to stop a message from sending after you push send. It has helped me countless times catch typos and think of better ways to phrase my thoughts.
  4. Pay for Spotify/iTunes unlimited. Paying for music is the best way to give the artists you love a way to make more music. If everyone paid for a streaming service instead of relying on ad-supported free versions, there’d be a whole lot more money to go around. Also, simply not having ads makes for a better listening experience.
  5. Own your own website and data. Owning your own website is the only way to guarantee protection of your content. Any other website like Facebook or even Squarespace could go down and then your stuff is gone. Owning your own site is the way to go when you start developing a serious brand or business.
  6. Don’t pick up the phone every single time. Make your self less available. Let the phone ring through. Technology has made is easier to stay in touch, but it also has made our boundaries harder to maintain. We almost want to pick up the phone because it gives us a dopamine rush that someone wants our attention.
  7. Delete old text threads that aggravate you. Constantly being reminded of your old conversations isn’t healthy. Just because you had the conversation doesn’t mean you need to see it every time you open your text message app. Even seeing their name or the last message in the thread can activate the old vibe and bring you back to that irritating or fearful moment of the fight, or uncomfortable conversation. Just delete it! It won’t hurt anything.
  8. Defrag your computer. This is so important and not enough people do it. It helps keep your computer running smoothly, for longer. Files get fragmented as the hard drive spins. Defragmenting is like giving your computer a check up. It can clean up broken parts of your operating system and reset files that have been fragmented.
  9. Get an antivirus program. Most of you reading this can avoid allowing viruses on to their computers. But if you aren’t too careful about what you click on online, you definitely need an antivirus program. AVG offers a free version of their antivirus software. I have been using it for years.
  10. Stretch every day. This is so important in today’s computer-based world. We are sitting in chairs all day, staring at computer screens. Even with standing desks making an appearance, the static nature of our modern day work must be combated with stretching. Even 10 minutes here and there will make a difference in how your body feels.
  11. Exercise. This goes right along with the previous point. Exercise is important. We all know why. Just do it!
  12. Research the basics of SEO. You should know how Google works. It is imperative that you know how to search for things and understand why certain results come up.
  13. Get an ergonomic computer chair. It goes without saying that proper support is crucial to your digital well being. Get a chair that fits your height, width, weight and back. Get a lumbar cushion if you have to. Check out workupergo for more info.
  14. Follow the 20 / 20 / 20 rules for eyes. Every 20 minutes give your eyes a break and look at some thing 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Extend the life of your eyes. They are a muscle and must be rested like any other.
  15. Take a break from online dating. While it can work and create life-long, genuine relationships, that kind of result isn’t very common. For some of us it only causes so much pressure with such little payoff. If you aren’t getting results from online dating, it just might not be for you.
  16. Ensure your workstation is ergonomic. In addition to the chair, you want to make sure the desk is at the right height for your hands and the monitor is at the right height for your head and eyes. You may also want to get a vertical or even more ergonomic mouse. I switched to a vertical mouse and my hands immediately felt relief. Way less tense than while using a standard mouse.
  17. Buy a little of of cryptocurrency to see how it works. I am not saying to invest in crypto. I just mean learn how it all works. be informed. While it may not be applicable to mainstream industries yet, it will be, and you want to be ready and knowledgeable when that happens.
  18. Keep your browser tabs organized and fresh. – Gone are the days of dozens of open tabs! Don’t let them pile up. Close them when you are done the task. You can always open that site up again. Use bookmarks if you will forget where you were.
  19. Follow a good diet that works for you. Listen to your body. Our bodies are changing with technology. Learn what is acceptable and not as we evolve our physical to control the digital.
  20. Go outside!!

Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to a better digital well-being. In today’s tech driven world, it is important that we continue to pay respect to the organic, human parts of us. It is easy to get caught up in the screen. Take a second to step away from the world wide web or from your devices and unplug. Soon we’ll be plugged in way more than we ever imagined. We cannot afford to lose our humanity as we go deeper into the digital world.

Chad Lewine