According to a recent Forbes article, there are over two billion Facebook users worldwide, about 500 million tweets are sent daily, 95 million images are uploaded to Instagram each day, and 400 hours of video are uploaded per minute on YouTube.
Since each of these platforms is designed to compete for people’s attention and pushes a constant stream of content to keep users engaged 24/7, it is up to each individual to set parameters around personal use and build healthy strategies to preserve mental well-being in the face of new digital challenges.
Prioritize human connection.
Building online relationships and networking is great, just not at the expense of your in-person relationships. Now, more than ever is the time to strengthen the human connection in families, communities, and the world at large.
Create absorption time.
The brain is designed to think, critically analyze, deduce and create. But incessant communication and constant connectivity puts many on chronic reaction mode, with shortened attention spans and scattered thinking. Instead of checking the phone first thing in the morning and checking again right before bed, dedicate time for your mind to truly relax, reflect, process, and absorb.
Everyone needs time to relax and recharge. Try turning off all devices and becoming technologically unavailable for a little while. Play a game of golf, take a bath, read a good book, or enjoy any activity that puts the mind at peace and the body at rest.
Connect with nature.
It’s common to see many people walking outside with their eyes glued to a screen, missing out on all the beautiful sights, sounds, and experiences nature has to offer. A few moments on a balcony in the morning, an afternoon walk at lunch, or stargazing at night are all simple ways to connect with the wonder of the natural world.
In a time when attention is the new currency, be mindful and intentional about when and where most of your attention is going. Conduct a mini self-assessment to see if your attention is going to things that matter most in your life.
For help building mindfulness in the digital age, speak to a professional clinician through your free Assistance Program.