Sometimes it can feel like our digital devices control our lives. They suck up our time and money, yet we would be helpless without them. Whether you want to admit it or not, our digital devices and the internet are important parts of our lives. School, work and our social lives all require we be plugged in more than we would probably like. But, before you vow to ditch your digital life to live in a forest, try taking back your control.
The best way you can take control of your digital life is through mindfulness. Most people don’t even realize the hold technology has on them. By simply being conscious of your technology use, you will be able to decide how it affects your life. Follow these few steps to be mindful and take back your control.
#1 PEN AND PAPER
Get a real notebook, not one on your iPad, and start keeping track of when you do anything digital for a week and what you used it for. Keeping a log (although it sounds boring) will actually help you to nail down your digital habits and figure out where you have weaknesses or problems.
#2 THINK ABOUT HOW YOU FEEL
After you log your activity, take a minute to reflect on how the usage makes you feel. Do you feel anxious every time you decide to post a photo on social media? Do you feel more at ease when you use the GPS on your phone? Good or bad, write it down.
Look back at the last week. First look at how much time you are devoting to digital activities. Are you happy with this number? Are there other activities you would rather devote your time to? Next, look at how each activity made you feel and eliminate the ones that made you feel stressed, anxious or unhappy. From here on out, try to only partake in digital behavior that you find enjoyable and things that leave time for non digital activities.
In order to remain mindful, unplug your devices for a day once a month. By removing yourself from your digital life, what you need and don’t need will become clear.
Are you happy with your digital life? Or do you feel like you need to take back control?
By Jacqueline DeMarco
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