Setting Digital Boundaries

Setting Digital Boundaries

How do we feel about our time online?

Discussions focused on how people felt about their time online, since the beginning of the lockdown. Responses were mixed, with some participants sharing how their time online is not only vital to their career but also helped them stay connected with friends and family throughout the pandemic. Others expressed the toll it is taking on their day to day life, with work from home, virtual communication with friends and family and increase use of social media (e.g. TikTok). The group agreed that a balance is needed between how much time we spend online and activities that do not involve an online platform.

Poll: What online platforms do you use on a day to day basis?

Most popular answers including Teams, Zoom, Instagram, WhatsApp and emails.

How does social media affect us?

Most participants agreed that more time is now spent on social media. Some felt the impact was positive, such as for their career, staying up to date on politics and learning new things with the free time people now have outside of work. Others felt that more time spent on social media has negatively impacted their mental wellbeing. Some reasons include: it is difficult to tell what is real on such heavily curated platforms, comparing oneself to other people (experiences, body image), overwhelmed by number of virtual events. A good point was raised on how digital detoxes are more common/accepted and people feel less guilty for a detox. A useful conclusion to discussions on this question was that we are all trying our best given the current climate we live in and we should not be too hard on ourselves.  

Poll: How much time do we spend online on a daily basis?

Most popular answers were 2-3 hours or over 4 hours a day.

How can we best manage time spent online (including social media)?

Some useful tips included:

-        Setting a certain amount of time in a day to replying to WhatsApp messages.

-        Screen time limits for certain apps.

-        Blocking out time in work calendars to go out for a walk/step away from laptop.

-        Useful apps/activities: Calm (to help with sleep), paint by numbers, headspace, insight timer, doodling, air dry clay, baking.

-        Putting away work laptop at the end of the day, changing your work space back into a living space.

-        Deciding the number of people you would like to catch up with in a week.

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