I still can’t believe it— I was in the room with Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007 when he unveiled the revolutionary iPhone. To be fair, it was me and thousands of others attending his Macworld keynote in San Francisco, but it was tremendously thrilling all the same. There was no shortage of oohs and awws, and it definitely felt like more than one person sitting near me might pass out from the excitement.
Many years later, I’m still in awe of how these devices enrich our lives, but I’m also aware of the pitfalls. While devices offer connections and information, they can also be a source of distraction and stress. In this three-part series, we’ll explore strategies for achieving digital wellness and making the most of our online experiences. And if you have kids at home, whether they are young, tween, or teen, we can model these strategies outloud to help them cultivate their own digital harmony in whatever stage they are in.
Taming Your Tech Temptations
One of the challenges we face is the constant barrage of notifications and distractions. Our devices are designed to grab our attention, often leading us down a rabbit hole of mindless scrolling. To regain control, consider these strategies:
- Turn off notifications: Start by disabling unnecessary notifications that constantly divert your attention.
- Mute or vibrate mode: Keep your device silent or on vibrate to minimize interruptions.
- Out of sight, out of mind: Place your device screen-side down or leave it in another room during focused tasks.
- Use “Focus” mode: Embrace the “do not disturb” mode to create distraction-free periods during your day.
As Apple CEO Tim Cook wisely put it in a CBS News interview, “We made the phone not so that you’re using it all the time. We made the phone to make your life better. But for me, my simple rule is, if I’m looking at the device more than I’m looking into someone’s eyes, I’m doing the wrong thing.” These words remind us that our devices are tools meant to enhance our lives, not dominate them.
We made the phone not so that you’re using it all the time. We made the phone to make your life better. But for me, my simple rule is, if I’m looking at the device more than I’m looking into someone’s eyes, I’m doing the wrong thing.Tim Cook, Apple CEO
W. W. W. Approach to Time on Social Media
Let’s apply the “W. W. W.” framework by Catherine Price, author of How to Break Up With Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life, to our social media time:
- What for?
Ask yourself why you’re engaging with social media at this moment. Is it for connection, inspiration, or learning? Is there an actual purpose?
- Why now?
Reflect on what triggered your social media usage. Was it a break from work, boredom, or a specific time of day?
- What else?
What else could you be doing right now? What are the opportunities you might be missing out on by being on the socials?
By actively shaping not only our social media usage, but all interactions, we can enhance our digital well-being and create a virtual world that’s not just engaging but also enriching.
We’ve explored strategies for taming the tech temptations that often entangle us in the web of constant notifications and distractions. We’ve also introduced the powerful “W. W. W.” framework by Catherine Price, a compass that helps us navigate the vast landscape of social media with purpose and intention.
But our exploration isn’t over. Achieving digital wellness is an ongoing process, a commitment to making our online experiences not just engaging but enriching. As we move forward in this three-part series, remember that you hold the power to shape your digital world.
Now, it’s time for your call to action:
- Reflect: Take a moment to reflect on your own digital habits. What role does technology play in your life? Are there moments when you feel it might be taking too much of your attention away from in-person experiences?
- Implement Changes: Start implementing the strategies we’ve discussed, from turning off notifications to using the “W. W. W.” framework. Small changes can lead to significant improvements in your digital well-being.
- Stay Tuned: Join us in Part 2, where we’ll delve deeper into coping with social media stress. We’ll equip you with more tools and insights to navigate the digital landscape with resilience and balance.
Thank you for embarking on this journey with us, as together, we seek to find harmony in our digital lives.
Also in this series:
- Part 2: Building Digital Resilience: Coping with Social Media Stress
- Part 3: Empowered: Using Social Media for Positive Impact