How to Manage Digital Overload

Reviewed Jul 5, 2017

Close

E-mail Article

Complete form to e-mail article…

Required fields are denoted by an asterisk (*) adjacent to the label.

Separate multiple recipients with a comma

Close

Sign-Up For Newsletters

Complete this form to sign-up for newsletters…

Required fields are denoted by an asterisk (*) adjacent to the label.

 

Summary

  • Too much online interaction increases stress, reduces sleep, and lowers self-esteem.
  • Just as our smartphone needs to be recharged, so do our minds.

Computers have taken over our world. Desktops, laptops, smartphones, and other devices keep us connected around the clock. Whether we are checking the weather, checking emails, or checking up on friends, we seem to be online all the time. Indeed, there is no end to the wealth of information and entertainment to be found there. But when is enough, enough? And when is too much, too much?

The never-ending workday

People used to have set work hours. They would go to their job at a set time and come home at a set time. Then they might spend time with family, read a book, or take a walk after dinner. After a good night’s rest, they would get up and do it all over again.

Today we may still physically come and go from our workplace, but we may never really clock out. This is because we may stay virtually connected to work through our online devices. We can access emails, work files, schedules, and databases from our smartphones. Clients and co-workers are just a call or text away, and so is the boss.

If we are not careful, we can let this easy access get the best of us. Rather than enjoying some much needed downtime, we find ourselves extending our workday. We replace rest and relaxation with stress and distraction.

Extended play

It is not just online work that distracts us. We spend hours watching silly videos online. We binge watch TV shows online. We download music and upload pictures on our devices. We interact with friends and followers on social media. We battle animated villains and real players on online gaming consoles. We chat online, video chat with family, and sometimes even call them on our smartphones. We text our friends all day and into the night. We “Google” everything.

It is a whirlwind of activity, but just when and how do we make it stop?

Recharging our batteries

Just as our smartphone needs to be recharged, so do our minds. You don’t have to respond to every text or email right away. Your work will still be there the next day. Make it a point to go “offline” by a certain time each day. You can use the alarm feature on your smartphone to remind you.

If you find yourself texting back and forth with someone, maybe it is better to make a phone call. Try not to talk or text to other people while you are face-to-face with someone, however. This is true whether you are meeting with a client or eating with your family. Despite the popularity of wireless devices, most people still find them somewhat annoying in group settings.

Even briefly checking messages can give others the idea that they are fighting for your attention. Turn your phone down or off, and put it in your purse or pocket. Just having your phone out can be a distraction to yourself and to others.

This digital age

Younger people who have grown up in the digital age do not know anything different. Handheld devices are a way of life to them. They do not think twice about texting friends while watching TV and doing their homework. They broadcast their lives on social media every day, sending out multiple selfies, updates, and tweets.

It is this generation which needs to learn how to take control of technology. Studies show that too much online interaction increases stress, reduces sleep, and lowers self-esteem. There will always be people online who have more friends and followers. They will also get more likes, shares, and retweets. They will appear to be having more fun too. Sometimes all we need is to turn off the drama and focus on the real relationships right in front of us.

By Kevin Rizzo
Source: American Psychological Association, www.apa.org/monitor/2016/02/smartphone.aspx and www.apa.org/monitor/2016/02/smartphone-sidebar.aspx

Summary

  • Too much online interaction increases stress, reduces sleep, and lowers self-esteem.
  • Just as our smartphone needs to be recharged, so do our minds.

Computers have taken over our world. Desktops, laptops, smartphones, and other devices keep us connected around the clock. Whether we are checking the weather, checking emails, or checking up on friends, we seem to be online all the time. Indeed, there is no end to the wealth of information and entertainment to be found there. But when is enough, enough? And when is too much, too much?

The never-ending workday

People used to have set work hours. They would go to their job at a set time and come home at a set time. Then they might spend time with family, read a book, or take a walk after dinner. After a good night’s rest, they would get up and do it all over again.

Today we may still physically come and go from our workplace, but we may never really clock out. This is because we may stay virtually connected to work through our online devices. We can access emails, work files, schedules, and databases from our smartphones. Clients and co-workers are just a call or text away, and so is the boss.

If we are not careful, we can let this easy access get the best of us. Rather than enjoying some much needed downtime, we find ourselves extending our workday. We replace rest and relaxation with stress and distraction.

Extended play

It is not just online work that distracts us. We spend hours watching silly videos online. We binge watch TV shows online. We download music and upload pictures on our devices. We interact with friends and followers on social media. We battle animated villains and real players on online gaming consoles. We chat online, video chat with family, and sometimes even call them on our smartphones. We text our friends all day and into the night. We “Google” everything.

It is a whirlwind of activity, but just when and how do we make it stop?

Recharging our batteries

Just as our smartphone needs to be recharged, so do our minds. You don’t have to respond to every text or email right away. Your work will still be there the next day. Make it a point to go “offline” by a certain time each day. You can use the alarm feature on your smartphone to remind you.

If you find yourself texting back and forth with someone, maybe it is better to make a phone call. Try not to talk or text to other people while you are face-to-face with someone, however. This is true whether you are meeting with a client or eating with your family. Despite the popularity of wireless devices, most people still find them somewhat annoying in group settings.

Even briefly checking messages can give others the idea that they are fighting for your attention. Turn your phone down or off, and put it in your purse or pocket. Just having your phone out can be a distraction to yourself and to others.

This digital age

Younger people who have grown up in the digital age do not know anything different. Handheld devices are a way of life to them. They do not think twice about texting friends while watching TV and doing their homework. They broadcast their lives on social media every day, sending out multiple selfies, updates, and tweets.

It is this generation which needs to learn how to take control of technology. Studies show that too much online interaction increases stress, reduces sleep, and lowers self-esteem. There will always be people online who have more friends and followers. They will also get more likes, shares, and retweets. They will appear to be having more fun too. Sometimes all we need is to turn off the drama and focus on the real relationships right in front of us.

By Kevin Rizzo
Source: American Psychological Association, www.apa.org/monitor/2016/02/smartphone.aspx and www.apa.org/monitor/2016/02/smartphone-sidebar.aspx

Summary

  • Too much online interaction increases stress, reduces sleep, and lowers self-esteem.
  • Just as our smartphone needs to be recharged, so do our minds.

Computers have taken over our world. Desktops, laptops, smartphones, and other devices keep us connected around the clock. Whether we are checking the weather, checking emails, or checking up on friends, we seem to be online all the time. Indeed, there is no end to the wealth of information and entertainment to be found there. But when is enough, enough? And when is too much, too much?

The never-ending workday

People used to have set work hours. They would go to their job at a set time and come home at a set time. Then they might spend time with family, read a book, or take a walk after dinner. After a good night’s rest, they would get up and do it all over again.

Today we may still physically come and go from our workplace, but we may never really clock out. This is because we may stay virtually connected to work through our online devices. We can access emails, work files, schedules, and databases from our smartphones. Clients and co-workers are just a call or text away, and so is the boss.

If we are not careful, we can let this easy access get the best of us. Rather than enjoying some much needed downtime, we find ourselves extending our workday. We replace rest and relaxation with stress and distraction.

Extended play

It is not just online work that distracts us. We spend hours watching silly videos online. We binge watch TV shows online. We download music and upload pictures on our devices. We interact with friends and followers on social media. We battle animated villains and real players on online gaming consoles. We chat online, video chat with family, and sometimes even call them on our smartphones. We text our friends all day and into the night. We “Google” everything.

It is a whirlwind of activity, but just when and how do we make it stop?

Recharging our batteries

Just as our smartphone needs to be recharged, so do our minds. You don’t have to respond to every text or email right away. Your work will still be there the next day. Make it a point to go “offline” by a certain time each day. You can use the alarm feature on your smartphone to remind you.

If you find yourself texting back and forth with someone, maybe it is better to make a phone call. Try not to talk or text to other people while you are face-to-face with someone, however. This is true whether you are meeting with a client or eating with your family. Despite the popularity of wireless devices, most people still find them somewhat annoying in group settings.

Even briefly checking messages can give others the idea that they are fighting for your attention. Turn your phone down or off, and put it in your purse or pocket. Just having your phone out can be a distraction to yourself and to others.

This digital age

Younger people who have grown up in the digital age do not know anything different. Handheld devices are a way of life to them. They do not think twice about texting friends while watching TV and doing their homework. They broadcast their lives on social media every day, sending out multiple selfies, updates, and tweets.

It is this generation which needs to learn how to take control of technology. Studies show that too much online interaction increases stress, reduces sleep, and lowers self-esteem. There will always be people online who have more friends and followers. They will also get more likes, shares, and retweets. They will appear to be having more fun too. Sometimes all we need is to turn off the drama and focus on the real relationships right in front of us.

By Kevin Rizzo
Source: American Psychological Association, www.apa.org/monitor/2016/02/smartphone.aspx and www.apa.org/monitor/2016/02/smartphone-sidebar.aspx

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, assessments, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2019 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

Close

  • Useful Tools

    Select a tool below

© 2020 Beacon Health Options, Inc.