Technology is ingrained in our everyday lives – it’s part of how we learn, work, and connect. It’s also important to establish healthy digital habits and set boundaries. According to a survey by reviews.org, in 2023, Americans spend an average of 4 hours, 25 minutes each day on their cell phones. In 2022, Americans checked their phones an average of 344 times a day. This week, I’d like to share some tips to maintain digital wellbeing as we enter the holiday season.
- Put distance between yourself and your device. That can be as simple as putting your device in your backpack or briefcase instead of in your pocket or on your desk. Keep it in your purse or bag when you eat or take a bathroom break.
- Try using a “Bedtime” or “Sleep” Mode. Most newer phones come with a mode that dims the screen, mutes notifications, and changes the display to black & white instead of color. But you don’t have to use this mode only around bedtime. It’s also a great tool to reduce digital distractions any time you want to focus.
- Take regular breaks. When you’re working under a deadline, it can be hard to step away. Try to prioritize yourself, even if it’s for a short 5 minute walk. Better yet, try to make some time to hit the gym or go for a hike.
- Spend time together, offline. Consider setting up a technology-free meetup with your friends, colleagues, or family. Talking and interacting with other people has many physical and mental health benefits.
- Seek out novel experiences. Scrolling social media or staring at the same monitor for hours can be a monotonous experience. In the words of Joshua Foer from Moonwalking With Einstein, “Monotony compresses time; novelty extends it.”
Thank you to Jeff Japp, Leon Nguyen, and Andrew Weiglein from the SJSU IT Program Management Office, for providing this tip. As always, the SJSU IT Service Desk is here to help by phone at (408) 924-1530 or online.
Vice President for Information Technology
and CIO at San José State University