Mental and physical well-being is extremely important for a person to live a comfortable, relaxed, and productive life. With the increased impact of technology on our daily lives, digital well-being has become equally important for us. The latest trends in the digital world look appealing to us and have a serious impact on our lives. Digital diet means the amount of time we spend in front of screens for watching various programs on TV, using laptops and computers for work or entertainment purposes, using smartphones or tablets for social media or entertainment, playing video games using video game systems, etc.
Balanced Digital Diet
Like a food diet, a digital diet can be good and bad for you, a balance needs to be maintained. For our physical and mental well-being, we watch what food we eat and how much food we eat, similarly, we need to keep a close watch on how much and what we watch for our digital well-being. The digital world can also be a resource for information overload. A balanced digital diet doesn’t mean shunting away from the digital world but maintaining a healthy balance of the amount of time you spend exploring it and what content benefits you from what the digital world has to offer.
As per one research, on average an American aged between 13 and 75 years spends more than 9 hours on screen time, which is more than half of awake time. It has been found that parents and children spend more than five hours daily on-screen time added to the time they spend on screens at work or school. Both parents and children tend to immerse themselves in the digital world while having family meals which are meant for spending time with family. Some even go to the extent of using earbuds or headphones while having dinner with family.
There are not enough recommendations on what is the best figure for how much time one should spend in front of the screen, there is just a general idea that we should spend moderate time in front of screens. The goal of a balanced digital diet should be to maintain a balance between the time we spend in the digital world and all other activities of our physical world.
Finding a balance is critically important for several reasons, being physically fit suffers as people tend to immerse in the digital world at the expense of physical activity, speech and language development in children suffers because lack of communication skills due to reduced verbal exchange and relationships start to suffer due to lack of face-to-face communication.
Let us take a look at 5 tips that should help in creating a balanced digital diet.
5 Tips to Create a Balanced Digital Diet
1. Adjust your digital life routine
You should adjust your digital life routine in addition to other routines. You should always try to wake up unplugged and resist the urge to check your e-mail accounts, chat Apps, text messages, social media as the first thing when you wake up in the morning. Instead, you should devote time to other activities like connecting with your partner, or connecting with your child, taking your pet out, doing meditation, exercise or any other physical activity.
You should schedule screen time for using the digital world for text messaging, using social media, responding to personal emails, watching programs on TV, or playing video games. By following a schedule, you will start resisting an urge to check your device for new messages, e-mail whenever you have a free moment or an incoming notification alerts you.
You should schedule your meals and ensure that all the members stay disconnected from the digital world during meals and spend time for verbal exchanges during mealtime.
You should ensure that there is no screen time when it is close to your bedtime, a minimum of 30 minutes before your bedtime you should say good night to your screen pal.
2. Avoid using screen time as a reward
You should avoid using more screen time as a reward as it will push screen time up the ladder of activities children find worth putting an extra effort. You should reward your child suitably with something else, like outdoor sports equipment, picnics, and books of their interest. These kinds of rewards are going to help your child grow physically and mentally and at the same time help them to relax, have fun, and mature into having healthy relationships. These kinds of rewards also are going to help them to spend some time away from the screen and make them understand the importance of other activities as well.
3. Ensure a healthy mix of screen activity
You should ensure that there is a good balance of screen activities that enhance your creativity, learning, and help you in staying in touch with relatives and friends. It should also include other screen activities that will help you to relax, like watching favorite programs on TV, playing video games. You should ensure that all family members follow a set of rules for using technology and help in building healthy relationships at home and with other relatives and friends. Parents and children should agree on how much and what all can be done during their screen time that will encourage their digital well-being.
4. Create Zones for Different Activities
You should create zones in your home for the dedicated activities and ensure all the family members adhere to the sanctity of each zone. The kitchen and dining area should be only for cooking meals and eating and strictly no screen time should be allowed there. Similarly, the bedroom should be only for sleeping and no screen time should be allowed in there. As a general rule, your living or family room should be the only place for screen time, whether it is watching TV, playing video games, or accessing social media. This should help you in overcoming the temptation of checking emails, messages on every incoming notification and also help you in learning to share as TV, Video game systems will have to be shared among the family members.
5. Physical Activity and Sleep are Important
You should make sure that family members participate in physical activities that will help them in staying mentally and physically fit. All family members should devote time to mental and physical fitness by doing mediation, exercising, picking a hobby, and even taking pets out should be a good physical activity. By ensuring that screens are kept away from the bedroom, all the family members should be able to have sufficient good quality sleep daily. A better sleep environment with this perfect mattress should aid in ensuring that you and your family members get a sound sleep daily which is extremely important for overall well-being for each one of you.
Maintaining good digital health is equally important as is good mental and physical health. A digital diet should help a person to lead a life that is comfortable, relaxed, productive, and full of healthy relationships. To achieve this goal, you need to find a balanced digital diet in the ever-increasing, more appealing digital world. By following these tips you should be able to allow technology to have a better impact on your daily life and you should be able to lead a healthy digital life in addition to healthy physical life. Motto should not be to shut out the technology completely but use it judiciously to help you be successful in every aspect of your life.
For more health tips and sleep advice, have a look at this guide from Sleepstandards.com for more information.