8 Digital Behaviors to Stop Doing Right Now
Understanding the difference between healthy and disruptive digital behaviors is important if you want to live a productive and happy life. We’re of the belief that many people who engage in some of the harmful behaviors we’re about to cover don’t necessarily mean to.
And that’s what makes these things so dangerous. They can slip in and take control over the way that our brains normally work. In the following article, we lay out the eight biggest digital behaviors that we would love to get rid of. Let’s begin!
Doomscrolling, aptly named, is the process of continuous scrolling long after you’ve accomplished what you’ve set out to do with your phone. It usually takes place on social media, but it happens on news sites as well.
It’s really easy to get caught in that trap. You only intend to check your notifications, but then something unexpected catches your eye. From that, you think, “What’s the harm in seeing a few more headlines to see if any other hidden gems await?”
Pretty soon, you’ve blown through an entire afternoon and completely forgotten what you actually need to get done for the day. (Thanks, Facebook!)
2. Clicking Send
There are two cases where clicking send is an absolute cardinal sin. The first is when you send that email or text message without spell-checking. The age of predictive text hasn’t made this any easier as AI works to “correct” your actual intentions with something stupid.
The second part is where you get incensed by something and decide to give that idiot a piece of your mind. You spend several fiery minutes venting your spleen without realizing how it’s going to hurt you in the eyes of other people.
Hitting send in such a case can damage your future job prospects, lead to unintended misunderstandings, and forever ruin friendships. Just don’t do it!
3. Blasting Your Opinions
Your opinions might be just and altruistic, but truthfully, no one really wants to hear it. The people who know you and love you already agree with you or they at least know you well enough to give you the benefit of the doubt and keep scrolling.
The people who disagree with you are not going to change their minds. No seed of what you have to say is going to take root. You’re going to accomplish nothing that you set out to do with that post, so why do it other than to engage in a little self-righteous grandstanding?
Better use of your time is to actually get out there and make a difference for someone. Engage strangers in polite conversation. Listen for the sake of listening, not to simply talk about yourself and what you think. You might even learn something.
4. Untimed Gaming
You already know that video games can be addictive. So why give it a blank check over your time?
Don’t try to prevent yourself from playing. Rather, always set a strict allowance of time. When time is up, move on to something productive. Gaming without limits is a recipe for disaster.
5. Refusing to Plan
Failing to create a docket or itinerary or to-do list is a sure way to let some of the destructive digital behaviors take over. If you set your goals and stay focused, you can use technology as a useful tool and maybe have more time to engage in the things you want to do, both online and off.
Plans create freedom because they give you a healthy framework. And you can use that framework to reclaim control over your time.
6. Failing to Cluster
One big part of staying productive as you engage with technology is clustering tasks. Grouping similar to-do items together gives your brain a singular purpose as you open that word-processing program or look something up online.
Also called batch-tasking, it keeps you from the highly wasteful attempt of multitasking. Humans just are not very good at doing more than one thing at the same time. They can switch between tasks okay, but it’s far better to not let things of similar importance occupy the fertile parts of your brain.
7. One-Sided Texting
It would be nice to wake up in a world where we were completely over this one, but it still happens. All. The. Time.
When people are trying to speak to you, it’s only common courtesy to set the phone on silent, look them in the eye, and engage. It’s not generational. It’s a soft skill you have to have in life, and so many people from every age group are guilty of it.
In fact, sometimes it’s the older crowd that are the worst because they have the least amount of experience with balancing the integration of technology into their daily lives. If you do have some important conversations going on via text, precursor your in-person conversation by letting them know that and that you’re not normally this way.
8. Interacting More Than in the Real World
Sometimes the digital world can become so all-consuming that people forget to live their lives. They’re caught up in a world of texts and push notifications and what reactions they’re getting on social media without stopping to consider that they’re allowing real-life to fall by the wayside.
Never forget that you’re a flesh-and-blood person. You might feel like that phone is an appendage, but we promise you. If you set it down, an open wound will not start gushing blood from the palm of your hand.
That is to say, you can control your digital behaviors and the intrusion of technology in your life. It can even make you feel more empowered. So, set those times when you’re not connected and stick to them like you would a belief system.
These Digital Behaviors Can Take You Out of Life
Digital behaviors can certainly be a powerful force in our lives. It can be tough to manage them, and we all have something we could probably improve on.
That’s why it is so important to start calling out your friends and yourself as you notice these unhealthy behaviors start to take over your life. Do it. You’ll be surprised how much your life and the lives of others improve as a result.
Now it’s your turn, readers. What are some digital behaviors that we didn’t mention here that you would like to see go away? Sound off in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Public Domain Pictures Creative Commons License]