Creating A Healthy Relationship With TechnologyMay 25, 2023
Creating a Healthy Relationship With Technology
I shared a lot recently about the long break I took from social media when I came back, but I wanted to take the time to write a longer more detailed newsletter about it because I see how much it impacts the mental health of women I coach and even my friends and family.
At this point in my life, I know that I need extended breaks a couple of times a year and good boundaries in place when I'm on to be able to preserve my mental health, but it wasn't always like that. For so long I didn't recognize how my subconscious mind was programmed to compare myself to everyone else and their lives, how overwhelmed the constant sharing and uploading of different people's stories into my brain felt, and how it impacted my presence in all of my relationships.
Nothing is all bad, right? On the one hand, it’s been found that moderate use of technology isn't harmful and may even be beneficial. Screen time can help us stay connected with family, friends, and people who we can't see in person regularly. However, the heightened use of tech and social media to the exclusion of in-person social interactions and other activities that bring joy, like sports, hobbies, and spirituality, can lead to isolation, depression, aggression, disordered eating, difficulty focusing, and even suicidal thinking. This is all to say that there’s clearly a fine line we have to walk between using screens for a healthy amount of time and overdoing it.
The more you look at, watch, and analyze another’s life, the less you enjoy your own reality. That's a FACT and one I had to learn the hard way. Research has shown that the longer you spend observing other people’s lives, the more likely you are to become depressed. This is because the longer you spend watching other people’s experiences, the less time you have to create your own enjoyable experiences. Three hours spent on social media is valuable time you could have been playing a sport, learning a new skill, going on an adventure with people you love, reading a good book, or hanging out with friends.
So take some time to ask yourself how you feel after spending time on social media.
If it’s depleted and anxious instead of invigorated and inspired, consider what things you might want to do that could be more nourishing to your mind, body, and soul and actually start to prioritize those things.
Just to really hit home with this point, there was a study I was recently looking at that found that the more a person used Instagram, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time. Meanwhile, interacting in person with others did not have the same negative outcomes. While Instagram can increase social connectedness, the way we use it can have the opposite effects.
The feeling of needing to have an online presence and stay up-to-date with all that’s happening on the internet can be stressful. I know that's how I have felt over and over again running a business online. It's a limiting belief I'm still working through. The overwhelming feeling has led to burnout to me over and over which is why sticking to my boundaries has been so important. Beyond that, the constant new influx of information from our devices can be a distraction from important tasks, slowing your work and interrupting quiet moments that are crucial for creativity, problem-solving, and stress management.
Here are Some Signs of Depression & Negative Health Effects of Screen Use:
-You feel tired after looking at a screen for more than half an hour
-You get anxious when you look at what’s being shown on a screen (internet, TV, social media, video games, etc.)
-You have trouble falling asleep
-You wake up feeling exhausted
-You get agitated & angry easily
-You stay up later than you should
-You eat meals in front of a screen
-Your patience and tolerance levels are decreasing
-You have difficulty concentrating
-You crave access to some form of technology
If you're looking to create more boundaries with tech and improve your levels of stress by having a better relationship with your device, this is a big part of the work I do with the women I work with. Here's the link to book a call to learn more!