Louise Thomp­son

The New Zealand Herald - Bite - - This Week... -

17will im­prove my dig­i­tal dis­cern­ment

Dig­i­tal detoxes, they are all the rage, are they not? Pretty much the an­swer to al­most any ill. Bit anx­ious: have a dig­i­tal detox. Stressed out: dig­i­tal detox. Ex­hausted: def­i­nitely a dig­i­tal detox.

I think we can do bet­ter than a dig­i­tal detox be­cause a detox is a short-term fix. By def­i­ni­tion it’s a snappy way to rid our­selves of tox­ins be­fore we in­evitably go and do the ex­act same thing again.

Ba­si­cally we detox, we feel great, we make all sorts of good in­ten­tion prom­ises, then we re­tox. We are back snarf­ing the Pringles and the G&Ts a week later like the juice cleanse never hap­pened (de­spite what we might have pro­claimed about veg­eta­bles be­ing life the minute it fin­ished).

The prin­ci­ple works the same dig­i­tally. You go off­line for three to five days. Feel re­ally un­com­fort­able for the first day, twitch­ingly reach­ing for your phone by re­flex, but by day 3 you’ve not felt this re­laxed in years! You are so go­ing to keep that up! Who needs a phone!

A week later back on planet Earth you are check­ing so­cial me­dia a dozen times a day as per. We detox. We bounce back.

The pull to our phones is strong. It’s es­ti­mated that we check our phones be­tween 120 and 200 times a day. A DAY. Yikes.

I pre­fer an on­go­ing process of dig­i­tal dis­cern­ment over a dig­i­tal detox any day. This is about cu­rat­ing your dig­i­tal space in a way that im­proves your mood and phys­i­ol­ogy in the long term, re­duc­ing stress and “com­par­isoni­tis”. It’s about qual­ity over quan­tity; grad­u­ally im­prov­ing the qual­ity of your dig­i­tal life over time.

This might in­clude things like:

Un­fol­low­ing a #thin­spi­ra­tion PT on In­sta that although is sup­posed to be #like­su­perin­spi­ra­tional ac­tu­ally al­ways makes you feel bad about your­self.

Re­mov­ing your­self from Face­book groups that don’t add value to your life but bore or an­noy you.

Not re­spond­ing to work emails out of hours. Pe­riod. If it’s that ur­gent they can call you. (I know, old skool).

Un­fol­low­ing that fam­ily mem­ber/friend / ac­quain­tance who’s end­less #hum­ble­brag up­dates on their po­lit­i­cal views/their MLM busi­ness sell­ing oil/face­cream/shakes or their 900th cute dog/ cou­ple/baby pic makes you grit your teeth. Read­ing the com­ments on any­thing to do with the NRA, MAFS, GDPR or any­thing else that drives you to dis­trac­tion.

There has been much made re­cently, and rightly so, of the way the data we have (wit­tingly or un­wit­tingly) put out there dig­i­tally has been used to ma­nip­u­late or sell to us. The tem­per­a­ture has sud­denly been raised about the in­for­ma­tion we put out. What also de­serves some fo­cus is what we are tak­ing in. Our dig­i­tal diet has a big­gerthan-you-think im­pact on your mood and mo­ti­va­tion.

Be­come as dis­cern­ing with your dig­i­tal space as you are with your diet. Does it make you feel good or bad? Is it nour­ish­ing your psy­che or soul?

Cu­rate your con­tent with dis­cern­ment. Look for qual­ity, and con­tinue to re­fine it long-term. Through her on­line Hap­pi­ness pro­gramme “Well­be­ing War­riors”, life coach Louise Thomp­son helps peo­ple un­lock their hap­pi­est and health­i­est life. Sign up at louisethomp­son.com and find more from Louise at bite.co.nz/well­be­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.