By: Subha Ali
In today’s society, in any direction you look, schools, offices, streets, and stores, everyone is looking down at their phone. Other people surround them, yet all they see is what is on their screen. Living in a digital world is based on what digital tools are available for people to use as a form of communication and the tools available are endless.
The digital world has changed relationships, personal time, communication, and experiences. So, how does one survive when every aspect of life is controlled by technology? Let's dive in and discover some useful methods!
Life Experiences & Relationships -VS- The Digital World
Relationships are constantly affected by living in a digital world. Many fights between couples, parents, children, or siblings are caused because one person is not paying attention due to being on their phone. It is as if there needs to be a more noticeable presence when people are urged to check their phones on a more consistent basis.
However, it can be argued that technology is not only negatively impactful on a relationship. Things like video calls can keep a relationship alive such as long-distance relationships or relationships with family members or friends who live far away. This does not change the fact that technology is a constant third party in every connection. It's depicted to be more of a resource to enhance the connection that has already been developed between you and your loved ones. So, think of it more as a reliable extension.
Communicating with one another has had the most significant change due to the advancement of technology. We currently reside in an era where people do not converse with each other face-to-face anymore. Instead, individuals proceed with the approach to send a text or tag each other in a post through social media applications.
From the perspective of COVID-19, as the pandemic impacted the areas of schooling and work shifting in a virtual direction, this enhanced the communication issue to an all-time high. During this transition, all meetings were, and still are, held remotely. That being said, people have the option (if applicable) to keep their cameras off and choose not to participate in face-to-face interaction. Many misunderstandings and miscommunications are due to not having a face-to-face conversation. Maintaining social relationships to have interactions outside of technology is incredibly beneficial as well as essential.
People are busy with a plethora of things throughout their day, whether it is schoolwork, a job, or things at home. It must be noted that as a species that is advancing in a digital world, we need to take more personal time to step away from it all. In a technological world, usually, personal time consists of watching TV, thumbing through YouTube videos, playing a video game, or using social media for an extensive time.
In addition, studies have shown using technology throughout the day can cause health problems such as insomnia, eyestrain, anxiety, and depression. On a regular basis, people are constantly looking at a computer screen or tablet for school or company work, which is understandable in today's time. Although it is comprehensible, continuing to use these electronics during personal time adds an extended period of exposure to these adverse effects.
Going forward, the constant usage of a phone also impacts everyday life experiences. Whether going to a museum, a trip to the park, on vacation or spending time with family and friends, the way we experience these things is not the same as we remember them. Collectively, people are preoccupied with what is going on on social media, needing to take pictures of every moment for a social media post, or busy answering texts and emails at random times. In retaliation for that, many of us do not step aside from technology and appreciate the current moments that shape our experiences into blissful memories.
Besides the personal aspects that technology affects, it also raises safety concerns that many fail to adhere to. From a safety and security perspective, people can access personal information, photos, and even your house address through social media profiles. There is also a whole space of hackers and stalkers that put people’s safety at risk every day. As we proceed further in this objective, methods of how you can become more cognisant of your virtual security will be disclosed.
So, What Are the Steps to Surviving in a World where Technology Dominates Everything?
Protecting Your Mental Health
The first step is about the importance of your mental well-being. Taking the initiative for your mental health begins with taking time away from technology. When you need to take a break from work, school, or family life you can proceed with one of the following plans of action:
You could go outdoors and enjoy nature
Play a board game with some friends or family
Read a book by your favorite author
Find a hobby instead of watching a show or going on social media.
Proceeding with one of the listed options mentioned may be notably better for your mental health rather than watching a screen for hours and hours on end.
2. Being In The Now
The next step of survival pertains to enjoying life in the digital era. Basically, take a moment in time to focus on the present moment when creating memories. Instead of focusing on what to post on social media or what other people are doing, acquire a moment to LIVE in the moment. Take in your surroundings, who you are with, and the positive aspects of life.
To be aware of what is happening, where you are, and who you are, gives you the upper hand to know you are in control of your technology utilization. When you are able to detach from your devices and connect with the moment that is presented before you, may that be with loved ones, nature, or a quiet moment with yourself, that is the primary proof that you are capable of being in the now.
3. Developing A Bond Without Technological Correspondence
As we progress to our third step, let's talk a little about maintaining relationships. The third step revolves around communicating face-to-face with friends, family, coworkers, and even schoolmates if you are a student.
Doing this not only strengthens the bond you have with the tangible individuals around you, but it helps you perform proper "upkeep" by staying in connection with your connections. Instead of relying on texts, sending posts through social media, or calling, meet people in person and have conversations where you can see their facial expressions and body language.
4. Become Cognisant Of Your Virtual Security
As for the final step, the significance of your privacy and security is a priority. Do not put personal information publicly online for anyone to access. Take advantage of privacy settings on social media apps as this would ensure a barrier from hidden issues and dangers that may be hiding in the shadows. Block search engines from tracking you, and always check links you are unsure of before clicking on them.
As a collective that is evolving in the digital era, many of us find ourselves becoming more indulged in using the digital world and all of its advantages. That being stated, many of us fail to realize there are dangers to being overly indulged from a tech perspective.
If proper precautions aren't adhered to when diving into the virtual world of online shopping, communication, and even online dating, there could be more negative repercussions that follow if not careful.
Live More... Post Less
As we proceed to a conclusion, it's critical to know that your entire life does not revolve around what you or others post on social media. Relationships, self-care, memories, jobs, school, etc., are not based on technology. They are based on the present moment.
We live in a current world where popularity and enjoyable moments are either accepted, rejected, or riddled with opinions; which is what is now called the "Like" culture. Having the constant thought of what others think of you, and vice versa, based on social media responses will keep positive energy dormant. In doing so, the individual then becomes co-dependent on how others perceive their reality based on what is posted and shared.
Allowing yourself to enjoy your life experiences and tangible memories without the co-signing of others through social platforms is a step in the right direction. When you step back from the virtual world and take initiative to live for what is before you, what you post and what others think of you willno longer be a part of your list of things to fret about. Perhaps, you may find life more sensational. And when you do decide to post or share a moment for the world to see, it won't be for the "Like" culture to rebuttal. Better yet, it will be another great memory for you to look back on many moons from now.
As the technology world continues to evolve we have to adapt to changes that occur. However, during this evolution within a tech revolution, it is vital to understand that a balance is essential if you expect to survive the digital world. To ensure digital survival is not about forcing yourself into hiding and getting rid of all things digital because of fear of lurking dangers and bad habits. In this instance, to ensure survival is as simple as checking your phone when you're not on a date or with your loved ones or going on a brief detox from your device when applicable to maintain your mental health. Nifty actions such as these will keep bad tech habits at bay and allow you to have more control over your technology usage so you can avoid potential cyber hazards.
Surviving the digital world means being in the "now" moment. This means that even though you may have those last-minute emails to check, have to post that final selfie of the day, or check your status on Facebook to see how many likes you have, remember you have a life aside from the virtual world that is just as significant. And how you nurture that life will allow room for the balance between you and the digital world to expand accordingly and simultaneously.