We now live in a fast paced, information-overloaded digital world. It is an age of “Infobesity” with multiple competing demands on our time and attention.
More and more people are working flexibly or from home and with that, the boundaries between work and personal life have become increasingly blurred.
Research has shown that the average person checks their phone at least 150 times a day, an average user touches their phone 2500 times a day and a high user, well over 5000 times! It is perhaps no surprise based on these statistics that the average e-mail goes unread for a mere 6 seconds!
Excessive screen time is linked with introspection, depression, anxiety and reduced sleep. Have you ever checked your e-mail late at night and then lost sleep afterwards? I certainly have.
Reduced sleep affects our mood and behaviour and the way we eat so that we make less healthy choices, and so a vicious cycle develops. There are effects on our productivity: people are distracted through the working day, when at home and through the night, further affecting sleep and performance.
To compound the problem, products like Facebook can fuel our insecurities further as we compare ourselves unfavourably to others who post images of their “perfect” lives. We see the parties and social events that we perhaps weren’t included in and this can exacerbate our already fragile egos.
Most of us are already aware of the addictive power of our screens, and of cyber-bullying and exclusion, particularly in young people, but perhaps less aware of the impact on those that we care for. A health visitor I know observed recently how more and more children are commenting that they wished that their parents weren’t on their phone so much. Perhaps it is not just our children’s use of screens that we should be monitoring, but our own too.
Read more here about the importance of unplugging and why you should become a digital rebel!