Digital overload

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Digital overload
7 Min Read

Have you "unplugged" today?

How many times a day do you check your phone? How quickly do you expect a text or phone call back when you reach out to someone? Is it the first thing you look at in the morning and the last thing you see before you fall asleep? How easy is it for you to simply sit and do nothing?

We are living in an age of information overload, especially from a digital standpoint.

Once upon a time, we had to check books out at the library to look up a fact or history note. Now we can just type it into handy Google and thousands, if not millions, of responses pop up. Rarely does it seem we make plans with friends for a weekend catch-up– we’ve already heard or seen it on the constant rolling screen of social media.

Twitter moves a mile a minute. Trends come and go in a matter of days. Our brains are constantly seeing and attempting to absorb all of this new information every single day– it’s no wonder so many of us are suffering from a feeling of being burnt out.

Not to mention the 40-hour workweek, COVID fatigue, and a slew of other reasons to be experiencing burn-out.

We have created a society centered around a 24-hour news cycle style of living. Know everything, be on top of everything, hustle culture, the latest and greatest everything– to the point where even our breaks and rest moments are documented and uploaded for the world.

While, obviously, social media can have its place (nice to be able to check what time a store opens, or learn a new subject or skill, or connect with friends you can’t live near) when we overuse it, we’re at risk of putting ourselves in a constant state of overstimulation and overconsumption.

The simple fact is that our brains just aren’t equipped to be constantly on the go. It’s why we sleep. It’s why we rest. It’s why our bodies send mass amounts of signals that we’re nearing the edge of our threshold.

But it’s difficult to unplug.

And being constantly busy is absolutely glorified as a society– and it shouldn’t be.

Being overworked and overstimulated should not be seen as a badge of honor– there’s a difference between being productive and being so busy your body has no chance to recharge.

Not to mention the comparison cycle, the FOMO, and all the other things that can happen when you don’t set aside time away from social media. It can be a hard rut to get out of once you’ve dug into it, and a society that runs in the digital age doesn’t make it much easier.

There can be many negative health benefits to overload and burn-out– fatigue, depression, insomnia, etc. When used properly social media can be amazing– people have made careers, paid off loans, shared their creativity with the world– but we need to know when to “log off”.

Spending time in nature, in person with the people you care about, picking up a hobby you haven’t had the time for lately. All of these things can help you ground yourself back into the here and now. Like any other addiction, there can be digital withdrawals that may need to be pushed through.

Curating our social media feed to align with our values and sense of self is important so when we do log back in, we’re seeing things that resonate with us. I’m not saying ignore anything that makes you uncomfortable since being uncomfortable can be a sign of growth, but it is important to notice what types of things we’re consuming. If the information is heavy, don’t "doomscroll" for hours on end with it. Focusing on the here and now will help.

We often focus on our wellbeing with what foods we put into our bodies, and how we move them, but what about what we consume digitally? It is arguably just as important as the physical things we consume.

The constant stream of news, especially the negative kind, can also cause us to become more callous and numb to events in the future. Bouncing from a national tragedy to an ad for shoes makes it all seem… well, not as real!

Focusing more on the IRL (“in real life”) relationships and values will create a richer life for you and better your health in the long run. Z Form is here to help you reach out and focus on what really matters.

Knowledge is power, but too much of it too constantly can cause a major strain on our system. In addition, who is actually controlling the information you consume? Make sure to schedule time to be present with yourself daily, and like your mom always told you: get off that damn phone!