With the advent of remote working, the most innovative brands do not only ensure safety at the workplace, but also promote the physical, psychological and social well-being of workers dealing with new digital technologies.
The digital world is becoming increasingly cumbersome in our lives. While accessing information and communicating has never been easier, this overexposure can also cause different problems. Every minute of our lives we are bombarded by an endless stream of messages, notifications and updates. This constant flow of stimuli can create stress even in the most ‘zen’ of people.
Thus, we need to take action with a proper “digital diet”. Magni TH chose to talk about it with Alessio Conti, a digital marketing consultant and trainer attentive to technological and social changes. For years he has been helping people and companies to improve productivity, ensure well-being and develop creativity. His approach focuses on raising awareness on the time we spend online.
During the current pandemic we all have realised that we spend a significant part of our lives online. What is happening?
The time we spend online increases every year. The Internet has simplified and enriched our lives by offering us an infinite number of possibilities. On the net we can search for documents, play games, read, communicate, watch films and book holidays. Every minute, over 40 million WhatsApp messages are sent, almost 150,000 photos are uploaded to Facebook and 500 hours of videos are uploaded to Youtube. Digital has changed for good the way we relate, work and think. Everything happens very fast, resulting in cognitive fatigue. If not properly analysed, understood and ‘stored’, too much information can be more of a problem than an asset. We are more stressed, sleep worse, have concentration problems and tend not to train our memory. Therefore, we need to adopt new behaviours and new strategies to cope with the changes brought by new technologies. We don’t have to reject technology but critically and consciously decide how to use it.
Is “digital detox” the solution to adapt to these changes?
“Digital detox” refers to the choice of disconnecting for a few hours, days, weeks from smartphones and PCs to find your own dimension, perhaps taking advantage of a nice stay in contact with nature. Despite being valuable, this experience is very limited and limiting. This situation is limited in time, not always easy to achieve and implies giving up a good part of our life. It is like fasting to lose weight. There is no point if we do it for a day or two and then return to our old bad habits of eating sweets and waking up at night to eat. I think it is useful to try “digital detox” on a daily basis in order to understand if this represents a problem, what is good for us and what is not, what are the mechanisms that keep us glued to the screen even when we are tired or in the company of people we love.
What can we do individually?
Everyone can take many small actions. However, I think it is crucial to start asking ourselves questions. What do I want to do with my free time? Which aspects of my life do I want to share on social networks? Which ones do I prefer to keep to myself and my friends? How many hours do I intend to work? Do I really need to reply to work-related emails immediately, perhaps even at the weekend? How do I feel about going out and leaving my mobile phone at home? Everyone will find different answers. We all have different needs and different relationships with technology, our privacy, our professional, leisure and social life. If we adopt behaviours that do not arise spontaneously, we will not achieve great results. Let’s start observing ourselves. How many times do we check our phone every day? If we start to notice our bad habits, we will be looking for to getting rid of them!
Why do we need to talk about digital well-being within a company?
Information overload has major repercussions on the health and productivity of managers, employees and collaborators. How can a team of tired and distracted people, with a goldfish attention span, work well? Not to mention the more serious cases, where real illnesses, addictions and depression arise. By improving the health of employees, companies save money and increase efficiency, while employees are happier, work without stress and fall ill less often. In concrete terms, companies can run training courses and adopt shared procedures in order to improve their life and that of their employees.
Do you have any tips to put into practice from today?
We can start experimenting. However, as with all addictions, we will never recover without a personal journey. Deleting invasive apps, i.e., those using reward mechanisms, is a good place to start. Let’s also deactivate unnecessary notifications, check our settings and establish rules on how to use social platforms, both in terms of time and mode. Don’t take your phone to bed. Turn it off at least half an hour before going to bed. For at least a week, set yourself not to check it when you wake up. Let’s get back to reading, our hobbies, sport, music, friends and family. Above all, let’s return to look carefully and curiously at the world. We will soon discover that being attached to the smartphone is not the only possible activity!
It’s all up to us and our willingness to observe ourselves and understand what we can do to adopt a healthier digital lifestyle.
Now it’s your turn to speak. Have you ever tried to put any of these tips into practice? Are you going to try? You can tell us about your experience by writing at [email protected].