Is spending extra time on phones harming our digital well being?May 21, 2021
So, last year when the lockdown slowly started lifting and flights started resuming, I got on a flight from Delhi to Bangalore on 2nd June 2020, after spending four months building a mud house near Nainital. I had to get a Covid test done to go home, so I did. And when I entered my house, I got the result, it said ‘detected.’
Of course, irrational fear took over, I started freaking out (that time it was all new, no one knew what it was, how it spread and everyone was taken to the hospital, even asymptomatic people like me). Luckily I wasn’t taken to an isolation ward, but I quarantined for a month in my room. And it was there, that I first realised the power of these mobile phones we have in our hands.
I was alone, in my room, scared about the pandemic and had nothing better to do. So I would Google, the number of symptomatic people, the death, the symptoms, the scary articles and my mind would go to dark places.
I would think about the symptoms and manifest them.
I would think that my throat is itching, though it was not, I would think I spread the virus around, though I did not. It was all these news articles that I read that spoilt my peace of mind even more.
For the first time in my entire life, I was spiralling in a downward curve of fear. Something I had never felt until COVID.
But then one day I decided enough. No more going online to look at the news. Instead, I went on to YouTube and put on meditation music. I searched yoga for a healthy life and started doing that. And I came to some sort of peace with myself. From not having washed my hair in three weeks with the fear of maybe developing a cold, to finally eating fried vadas and washing that stinky hair of mine, I could see the difference. And that my dear friends are what I am going to share with you in this series. About choosing the right content, in these tough times.
About how to watch the right videos, read the right articles, and let yourself feel at peace.
I could have made myself crazy reading the infinite new articles about Covid symptoms or deaths, I can sit and cry my heart out looking at those videos of the Palestinian kids, and feel helpless. Or maybe I could do something better, like write this article, or read positive news. The world needs positivity, except of course when it’s a Covid result. There, we need all the negativity we could ever get! 😉
I have always had a yo yoo-ing relationship with social media. I began to notice patterns emerge once the pandemic struck. I decided this was the time to make a change.
But let’s backtrack a bit :
When I got the news there would be a weekend lockdown, I knew deep down, I’d be stuck for longer. I was in a rural town of Uttarakhand teaching rural govt primary school students maths, science and English.
I was surrounded by lush mountains, blue skies, and indefinite rainbows. I must agree too many of you cramped up in a 2 BHK this does look like a “dream”.
But it was the opposite. I had severe food shortages, went weeks eating dal, rice and potatoes with no green veggies or fruits in sight. There were constant electricity cuts, water shortages, a winter that never seemed to leave us in the middle of April and May. I was lonely despite the people around me.
I wanted to throw my phone out of the window with constant bombardment of the news. But I told myself, that’s not the solution.
We all have choices
I was done being overwhelmed, anxious, scared with the news of covid and social media in general. I accepted that I must embrace the new normal, “being online”. Be it for work, leisure, fitness, games, social meetings with friends and family.
I decided to work with it. I create a routine, adding yoga, to my daily grind, scheduling Netflix shows, courses online to create a better digital well being. I must agree, we are experiencing history in the making.
We all have a conscious choice to let this pandemic make or break us, digitally. Like me, I thought the only way to deal with digital technology was to reduce screen time, track our app usage and maybe even blocking notifications. But I felt something was missing. I am the kind of person that wants the psychology behind the decision. I delved deeper. And I found answers.
Which I couldn’t agree more. Neha and I want to share our personal experiences with our use of technology and how it has empowered our lives.
I leave you with this quote,
“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.“
Disclaimer -We are not therapists, psychologists, witch doctors nor dimaag ki doctors or any such term you associate with. This information is for learning and entertainment purposes only.
So let us know what your decision is in the comments below. We can’t wait to hear more.
Cover design credit – Beyond The Wall