Wellness and digital awareness in times of pandemic

The evolution of technology has changed the way we live and communicate. Smartphones, for example, have already become an extension of ourselves. Mobile devices offer us thousands of information and possibilities that make our routine simpler. However, for the first time in history, we are experiencing the impacts of a pandemic widely connected and with all the comfort of the technology used in our favor.

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The pandemic forced us to quickly change several of our habits, including the work format itself, which, for most companies, had to happen with each employee at home. If it weren’t for the technology, we wouldn’t have gone through so many challenges and learned so much from this episode.

In particular, smartphones have helped us to varying degrees, to keep us informed, shop online, carry on with our work tasks, allow children to take classes online, maintain contact with loved ones who live far away, and also entertain ourselves. But, mainly, in these almost two years, technology has allowed us to be closer to those we love.

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I believe now is the right time to rethink the use of technology in a more conscious and healthy way. It’s a combination of quality and quantity. Our routine has changed, we are more connected than ever, but this connection must also happen offline.

However, the balance also goes through the deconditioning of patterns, whether they are on or offline . For example: have you ever thought about how you perform your basic daily tasks, such as brushing your teeth, taking a shower, putting on your pajamas? We usually follow self-defined patterns and tend to repeat them extensively in the same way. This causes these actions to become mechanical and almost automatic. We just do it, we don’t think. Our everyday habits are nothing more than repeating patterns.

And have you ever ventured to make them any other way? For example, start rubbing soap in the bath on your left foot instead of on your face? Put the right shoe on the left one? This type of exercise makes our brain unconditional patterns and new possibilities arise based on this break.

Well, the same challenge applies to the famous digital detox. But, after all, what is the meaning of this term, so used nowadays? Digital detox is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as a “period during which a person refrains from using their electronic devices, such as smartphones, considered an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world”. This definition conceives of digital detox as the temporary abstinence from electronic devices to purify oneself, similar to fasting.

Our routine has changed, we are more connected than ever, but this connection must also happen offline (Image: Envato / BoykoPictures)

I imagine you are asking yourself now “why is a person who is part of a company that manufactures smartphones talking about digital detox?” It may seem counterintuitive, but it isn’t. All consumption must be based on usage limits, as any excessive habit can be harmful. The truth is, we have to use our time as smartly and efficiently as possible. So, if your device or the apps you’re using are taking up more time than you’d like and there’s no opportunity for other tasks that would also do you good, you can take control and change.

My invitation is to allow us to break patterns, set limits and deconditioning the brain so that it can be able to operate differently, on different subjects. According to the survey Special Issue: Digital Wellbeing in an Age of Mobile Connectivity

(MMC, 2021), the effectiveness of digital detox interventions is presented in an overview, structured according to the categories: time of use, procrastination, self-control, health and well-being and social relationships.

The main thing, in this very particular situation, is follow some tips that can be useful to find a balance between our life and the use of smartphones, such as planning disconnection periods, using apps that allow us to control screen time and brightness, disable notifications (which can, in many cases, leave anxious) and establish limits or times when you do not use any device.

Living permanently connected gives us the possibility to establish and increase bonds with friends and relatives, study, work and entertain us. Well-being and digital awareness are concepts that are becoming more and more real for everyone, and the constant presence of technology in our lives can have a positive impact, if we really make good use of it. Using different platforms and apps securely, in order to maximize your benefits, avoid risks and generate awareness, you can modify the impact that devices and your network can have.

Therefore, being disconnected does not mean being idle. There are other stimulating activities to give that digital break, sharpen our creativity and build different brain cognitions. How about testing a new exercise? Learn to play an instrument? Develop manual work? Once you get started, you won’t regret it!

*Article produced by a columnist exclusively for Canaltech. The text may contain opinions and analyzes that do not necessarily reflect Canaltech’s view on the subject.

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2021 2021

2021

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