TTT #42: "Are You Mindful of Your Digital Habits?" with Tyler Shores

The Tomato Timer Feb 1, 2021

Have you ever stumbled across one of those digital well-being articles that offer a way for you to restrict your screen time to a specific number of hours? Considering how much more efficient your days might look like with an hour less of scrolling, you might have vouched to stick with it, only for the next day ending in bouts of guilt, sometimes accompanied by feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem. But think about it; with everyone's commitments requiring a different scale of digital involvement, is a concrete schedule even a logical idea? In this episode, Tyler Shores talks about the conversation surrounding digital well-being and gives bits of advice for you to work out a plan that gives you the results you want.

Currently, with everything having shifted online, you are compelled to spend long hours on your devices. In such circumstances, you cannot think about minimizing usage from the point of view you did before the pandemic. Instead, you'll have to think more about how to extract the best possible worth from your digital time.

[Digital well-being is] just being cognizant or mindful about your quality of screen time

Many of you might have experienced being more tired after a day online than you would have been after returning from a social setting. One can attribute some of it to 'Zoom fatigue', arising from constantly being put in the spotlight. Some of you might be being more demonstrative, through facial expressions or hand gestures, to get your points across without letting the attention of your audience slip away. Or you could be more prone to multitasking, discreetly checking your emails or replying to texts during a conversation. All such factors add up, understandably leading to the familiar burn-out.

One easily implementable strategy you could try is to keep devices out of your immediate reach whenever possible, especially around bedtime. Pick up a book instead and immerse yourself into a story. And try not to check your phone first thing in the morning. Those first notifications and news items can have such a big impact on your day and your emotional state.

Moreover, get acquainted with your distractions so that you can act on these. What's the average number of times you open a specific app each day? Are you making the most of whatever time you spend on it, or is it just something habitual? Being mindful of your digital activity, perhaps, might throw in more productivity.

However, please know that it's okay not to be able to change and adapt instantaneously. Perhaps, you fail quite a few times for patterns tend to be deeply-ingrained. But just the fact that you are reading this implies that you are already on the first step, having a sense of conscience towards your digital well-being and productivity. And it's okay to move ahead at a pace that is comfortable for you. You got this! <3


Ritika Singhal

Along with Zubair Junjunia

Senior year student passionate about social justice and inclusive reform | she/her