It goes without saying that we’re living in a digital age: work is digital, communication is digital, entertainment is digital. We’re constantly engaged with our surroundings in a way that directs us to look at one screen after another. There is a consistent stream of information, and high- definition, colourful graphics that barely give us a break, except maybe when we go to sleep at night. I do think we’re adapting to such a lifestyle, and we’ve even reached the stage where children nowadays didn’t know a past without technology. Yet, there comes a point where we reach digital fatigue, and the tiredness translates to frustration, which spills over to other aspects of our life. While there is little ways to control our digital consumption for work, there are other areas in which we could try to reduce our digital footprint.
1. Reduce Social Media Usage
I do think this starts to happen naturally as one grows older, but then again this is a generalisation on my behalf. Talking to friends has made me realise that regardless of age demographics, people are hooked onto digital devices for different purposes. By focusing less on social media, we are reducing our digital usage as a whole. That doesn’t mean you have to disengage from social media completely; rather, use it productively. I use Twitter not just to randomly scroll through tweets, but also get bite-sized news updates from various accounts. I use Facebook to keep in touch with close friends, as opposed to having an account connected to thousands of people I hardly know. In the same manner, use social media platforms in the best way they benefit you, so you don’t spend excessive time on them.
2. Look for Alternatives to Digital Entertainment
The ways our phones and tablets entertain us are only increasing. What used to only consist of simply designed games has now expanded to show-streaming services, intricately-developed games, an incredible range of e-books, a wide variety of puzzles, numerous drawing platforms, and so much more. There is a consistent, never-ending barrage of highly interactive media that we have the potential to be constantly engaged with. As such, it would be a welcome reprieve to turn away from digital and back to analogue. You don’t have to do this for all forms of entertainment, especially ones that are difficult to obtain. But choosing to get physical forms of books you really like, or small, handy puzzles and games might keep you entertained without relying on digital forms. It’s naive to say that all our digital entertainment can be replaced, however, it isn’t naive to say that it definitely can be reduced.
Digital disengagement can leave us feeling restless, especially if we’re very in-tune with our devices. So maybe just take a week or two without some of your favourite applications, and perhaps you might just want to extend your digital semi-hiatus. We don’t talk about it enough, but digital fatigue is real and leads to higher levels of frustration, tiredness and lower levels of patience. It’s especially intertwined with our lives, but maybe it’s time to cut off some of the latches.