This eCourse was designed for people whose digital habits have driven their lives out of balance.
But what if your life isn’t merely out of balance, but in danger of capsizing entirely?
If that’s the situation you’re in, it may be because a more serious problem, such as a mental health condition and/or digital addiction, is also in the mix, (and may have become even more pronounced in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.)
We’re going to explore both problems this week as they pose special challenges on the path to digital wellness. (If neither issue applies to you, feel free to rejoin us next week for the penultimate post in this eCourse.)
If you’ve tried to make changes the past 17 weeks but are still floundering, this may be the post for you.
Thus far we’ve assumed your digital habits are causing you distress, but not actual harm. But that’s not often the case for people with mental health issues like anxiety or depression.
For those people, (I include myself in this category) daily digital habits can be particularly powerful. That’s because digital tools can offer both comfort and escapism from the symptoms of mental health conditions, but can ALSO sometimes inadvertently make those symptoms worse.
For example, the loneliness of depression can drive people to use social media more heavily, but that heavy use can also expose them to more content and interactions that could potentially exacerbate their depression.
This problem can occur across a range of digital platforms…
Consider this a “chicken or the egg?” kind of problem. Your existing mental health condition might be causing you to develop unhealthy digital habits AND/OR your unhealthy digital habits might be causing you to develop a mental health condition, (or for an existing condition to worsen).
Regardless of the initial trigger, the solution is to accept that your relationship with technology is more complex than the average person. It may take more effort for you to make changes in your digital habits and you should approach that task by working on your mental health AND your digital wellness at the same time.
Digital addiction is a very real thing, whether that’s a phone addiction, social media addiction, Internet addiction or using digital tools to feed other compulsions or addictions like gambling, gaming, shopping, pornography, or cybersex.
Although digital addictions are often written off with the same trivializing language we use for “overdoing” other things in our life, (i.e. “I’m addicted to kale chips!”) having an addiction to anything is a serious problem that can destroy lives, careers, and families.
Problem is, because our technology use is so pervasive, complex, and ever-changing, it can be difficult to assess which parts are problematic, much less “addictive.”
Here’s a place to start…
…You might have a problem.
If that’s the case, again accept that it may take more effort for you to make changes in your digital habits and you should approach that task by working on your potential addiction, (which is likely also being affected by your mental health) AND your digital wellness at the same time.
Neither of these problems are going to be solved this week, nor am I the person to help you solve them. Our goal is simply to identify what’s going on and figure out the first step you can take to address it.
I wish you the best wherever your journey takes you and hope you continue to be healthy and safe.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this course. Feel free to leave comments on any of the posts or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to share something privately.
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.