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Digital Boundaries

Digital Boundaries

By Crown Affair

When we think about wellness, most of us think about a few things: our physical and mental health, how much we sleep and exercise, and what we put into our bodies. But what about our digital wellness? We all know our phones are not the healthiest thing for our bodies or minds, and yet we spend an increasing amount of time glued to them. 

If you’ve ever gotten a notification that your screen time is up week after week, you’re not alone—studies have shown adults actually spend twice as much time online as they think they do. The reason it’s so difficult to tell how long we’ve been online, and so hard to pull away, is that so many of the technologies we use were designed to be addictive. But with some effort, there are things we can do to set healthy boundaries and spend our time online in a more mindful way. 

The most helpful tip we’ve ever received is to turn off notifications. Every time you get a notification, you’re immediately drawn back into your phone and, often, down the rabbit hole. Should you get into said rabbit hole, it’s helpful to have app limits installed. First, figure out how much time you’re actually spending on the app and try to cut it down a little bit. After you get used to that amount, try more, until finally you reach a reasonable amount of time where you’re able to get what you need, then log off. 

If you find your problem is that you go to an app without even meaning to, it’s probably muscle memory. Move your apps around your phone periodically and you should catch yourself before you log into your most addicting app and be able to make a more mindful choice. 

Of course, the easiest way to disconnect from your phone when you’re finished with it is to put it away. Once you’ve FaceTimed, read the news, and checked whatever apps you like to check for the day, put it in a drawer or place it in another room for a while. As they say, out of sight, out of mind. 

Mary Cassatt ‘The Coiffure’ (1891)  via @thehairhistorian