Normally I’d start this post by congratulating my regular readers on making it through the first two weeks of the digital detox we started in early March.
Many of us feel like we need technology right now, to…
So, if you’ve abandoned your digital detox, that’s OK. Giving yourself access to some news, updates, and distractions each day can be a healthy, helpful choice to make.
However, it’s important to also remember the Internet is a firehose that doesn’t really have a “some” setting. In times of crisis in particular, it can be overloaded with information — some helpful, some inflammatory, some triggering, some unverified, some threatening, some scary — all of it set to “deluge,” 24/7.
So, yes — whether you intend to finish the detox we’ve started together, tweak it to stay better connected while quarantined, or abandon the idea altogether — I still think this is an appropriate time to proceed with talking about setting good digital boundaries.
Your sanity and serenity in the coming months may depend on it.
For many of us, being quarantined means we’re using technology more than ever before.
This will provide us with an excellent opportunity to identify habits or behaviors that feel unbalanced or unhealthy. We’ve touched upon two of these areas earlier in this course, but they bear repeating today:
In fact, many of the lessons presented in this eCourse over the past eleven weeks may be particularly helpful at this moment in time. If you’ve just found us, have down time, or didn’t get to peruse this course deeply before, maybe life is offering you an opportunity to explore this content now.
Because you may be spending more time using technology than usual, it’s more important than ever to examine the quality and quantity of the content you’re consuming each day.
That content affects your thoughts, which in turn, affects your actions, which in turn, affects your habits, which in turn, affects the trajectory and quality of your life.
To help explore this idea, we’re going to take some cues from David Ryan Polgar’s Mental Food Plate, which suggests that a healthy daily digital diet should be comprised of the following…
Really think about the content you put into your head each day. To use the food analogy, choose to “eat” whatever you like, just make sure your diet is diverse, well rounded, and not all coming from junk sources, (A topic which we’ll explore further next week.) Just like you might reconfigure your food diet to include more high quality ingredients, rich in the nutrients your body craves, sometimes you may need to balance out the digital “candy” you consume with more high quality fare.
This doesn’t refer to the act of consumption, but rather what happens afterwards, (i.e. the “digestion of your meals”). For all of the time you invest online each day, are you also taking an equal amount offline to process and think about what you’ve consumed and how you can apply that to your life, (as we talked about in Week 10)?
Rather than consuming content only for work or play, can you broaden your diet to include stuff that exercises your mind, helps you improve yourself and your life, or moves you from passive consumer to active creator? (We’re seeing huge examples of this online right now as more content creators are stepping up to the plate to share tutorials, classes, video tours, one-on-one training, etc.)
Again, to use the food analogy, there is often a disconnect between what we eat and our understanding of what that food does to our bodies. What are the repercussions from repeatedly consuming a low quality mental diet? As we talked about in the section above, (and in depth during Week 5 and Week 6 of this course), regularly tune into how the content you consume affects your thoughts, feelings, actions, and body, and make changes when those effects become unhealthy or unpleasant.
Next week we’ll continue this conversation about the content you consume, making sure it comes from sources you can trust. I look forward to seeing you then. Thank you for stopping by!
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I’m a consultant, strategist, author, educator, and speaker with more than 30 years of professional experience. I’m passionately curious, fairly sassy, kinda dorky and seriously good at what I do.