As technology has continued to evolve, there has been an increase in certain conditions, like repetitive motion injuries, eye strain, and anxiety. Digital overload is putting a lot of unnecessary stress on a large portion of the population.
And it’s possible that you are suffering from over-exposure to digital media as well. Read on to learn if you may be spending too much of your time on digital devices.
What is digital overload?
Simply put, digital overload occurs when people receive more sensory input from digital devices than the body can manage and process. As useful and necessary as digital technology has become, it has made life a lot more difficult for some.
Video games, mobile devices, TV, and computers are taking up more and more of modern society’s time, and sometimes to detrimental effects. Things like anxiety symptoms, irritability, fatigue, stress, and loss of focus are just some things people have reported with increased screen time.
Digital Overload Symptoms
Increased stress is a common symptom of digital overload. Using devices too much can lead to irritability, trouble relaxing, fatigue, and even physical symptoms like headaches, trouble sleeping, high blood pressure, and vision problems.
Overstimulation or sensory overload can also occur with too much digital stimulation. Too much information at one time is difficult to process. And for teens and young people, these symptoms are often very severe because their brains are still developing. Increased rates of suicide and depression have been observed.
How much is too much?
When you’re stuck doom-scrolling on social media or falling down online rabbit holes, it’s difficult to keep track of how much time you’re actually spending with digital media. In many ways, digital media creates a time vortex where a perceived 15 minutes is an hour on the clock.
For older children and young adults, less than two hours a day of screen time is recommended; however, children under the age of five should spend less time than that consuming digital media.
Adults should also aim for less than two hours of screen time outside of their occupation. If you’ve noticed changes in your mood, sleep habits, joint trouble, and vision problems, you’re likely spending too much time on digital devices.
Managing Your Screen Time
There are some things that you can incorporate into your routine to reduce your screen time.
You can set time limits on many mobile devices that will alert you or not allow you to continue using the device.
Make it a habit to only use one device at a time. If you’re watching TV, don’t scroll through social media at the same time.
Disable phone notifications that are essential to your daily living including social media notifications.
Prioritize off-screen activities like walking the dog, exercising, and family time.
It’s important to create healthy digital habits that allow you to preserve the health of both your mind and body. Over-exposure to digital media is stressful and can lead to some disastrous effects. But there are things you can do to create a healthier relationship with technology.