The days of your mum yelling at you to get off the internet so she could use the phone seem so far away, yet that was only at the start of the Millennia: A time where broadband installation discs were everywhere, silver coloured computers were all the rage and 1mb download speed was a luxury. As technology has improved over the years, so has internet accessibility and our connectivity to others. Today we are reported to spend 2h24m per day on social media, with 3.75 billion of us connecting with phones. It appears as though we are more connected than ever, yet this can bring about its own set of problems:
It used to be that you could clock out, leave your computer and emails behind, and completely separate your home and working life. Now more than ever, these lines are blurred. Phones have evolved from playing snake to being a miniature computer in your pocket: able to browse the internet, connect with the world and answer emails. It can be difficult to truly relax when a notification ping can happen any minute. This is coupled with instant gratification: we now expect things to be done within minutes of us requesting it.
As technology has improved, so has the speed at which we expect tasks to be completed. Many purchases and actions these days are instant: buying a new game, uploading a new picture to Instagram and video streaming to name a few. (Bonus fact: back in the day, you had to pause the YouTube video to let it load before you pressed play.)
This has also impacted the physical world, where we now seem to expect others to instantly respond to us and be at our beck and call; we expect our items to be delivered within 24h of ordering. Yet having to respond to others so quickly as expected may create a feeling of anxiety and one of missing out.
FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
Related to Always on and Instant Gratification is FOMO. Perhaps we are always checking our phones just in case we miss something and miss reacting to it. The advent of the infinite scroll only seems to make this worse as there is no endpoint, no time where you can be certain there are no more things to see or react to. To this end, we are always on and unfortunately seem unable to seek reprieve from this triad.
To enable you to switch off from social media there are a few techniques which can be used:
Install an App
There are a wide range of apps available which are able to block off social media, helping to give you space for a few hours to be mindful in the physical world.
Similar to installing an app, you may wish to set a specific time where you no longer look at work emails, helping to separate the home-work environment and help you feel more relaxed.
Understand that others are likely as overwhelmed with the amount of connectivity and would also like a break. If they take a few hours to respond to a message, that’s ok.
Take a First Aid for Mental Health Course
OSI offers a range of distance learning courses which not only help you identify and manage stress but are also recognised qualifications in the workplace. More here https://www.omniscientsafetyinnovations.com/distance-learning/