By: Justin Carter
Are you experiencing Digital Overload?
Have you ever noticed how life can sometimes just get away from you? You stop to think for a moment, and realize it is May when you feel like it is still January? The life-work balance is a hard one to maintain at times. With a pandemic, states opening and closing and opening again, keeping up with kids’ school virtually or with new modified school schedules, not to mention all the deadlines and meetings at work, and keeping up with laundry at home; Life is busy! Through all the juggling, we somehow still manage to stay connected through technology.
Do you ever wonder if we are too attached or if we rely too much on technology keeping us together? Sure, technology has allowed us to do many things, great things! For example, allowing people to meet face-to-face (virtually), or allowing us to stay entertained by watching movies together, yet apart. Or even allowing us to order food, groceries or supplies without leaving our houses. All kinds of great things that technology has allowed us to do during a pandemic.
But who is ready to take a break! I know I am…
This may sound weird coming from someone in the IT industry, but even us techs need to ‘unplug’ once in a while. It allows us to enjoy the real world around us. It allows us to enjoy our family, get out and enjoy nature, or even read a book uninterrupted (well, unless you have kids that are always needing something).
FUSE3 is all about making sure your technology is in good health, however, we also want to make sure that our technology users are in good health. This means even trying to educate on not just best practices on how to use a computer or a type of technology, but also making sure we help educate on how to use technology to keep you healthy.
Digital Overload Resources
Occupying your time being plugged into technology, whether it be checking email, social media, playing video games or watching TV can have harmful effects to your mental, emotional and even physical health. This is known as Digital Overload. GoodRx has an article you can read here that goes over things to watch for. Digital overload can cause all kinds of side effects if not kept in check. Here are a few side effects that GoodRX points out that you may find helpful.
- Problems with sleep. For example, when you use your phone right before going to bed, you might find it hard to shut your brain off so that you can fall asleep.
- Visual problems. When we stare at our screens too much, we risk overworking our eyes. This can cause problems such as eye strain, blurred vision, or dry eyes.
- Decreased bone density. When we use our devices, we are often sitting or lying down. This lack of physical activity can cause a decrease in bone density and put us at greater risk of breaking a bone.
- Weight gain. Sedentary behavior can also make it easier to gain extra weight and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- High blood pressure. When we are on our devices and don’t move our bodies as much, we are at greater risk for chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure.
Here are a few other articles that have good information on what digital overload is, and how to identify it.
Mindfullness.com – Scientists Warn of the Dangers of ‘Digital Overload’
NPR.org – Digital Overload: Your Brain on Gadgets – Little dated, but still has good information.
Digitalmindfulness.net – How Digital Detoxing became the solution to digital overload.
Loryanstrant.com – Struggling with digital overload?
- Beyond the Digital Detox
- Digital Mindfulness Podcast #2: Digital Detoxing with Martin Talks
- [Webinar] Overcoming Information Overload
*If you are feeling like you need more help to not feel stressed or overloaded, please reach out to your medical professional for more assistance.*