How To Promote Digital Well-being Now That Our Lives Are All Online


It’s no secret that technology platforms can have detrimental effects on our mental health.

But in a world under quarantine, many of us feel that we are more reliant on technology than ever before — and internet use is skyrocketing around the globe. When it’s no longer so simple to cut down on tech and social media use, how do we safeguard ourselves from technology’s dangers and challenges?

The Center for Humane Technology has created a new, practical online resource for families trying to navigate the overwhelming amount of technology we are using during the coronavirus pandemic. 

A few of their guidelines on their website consist of the following:

  • Feel Into It: Let’s be aware of not just our use, but how technology makes us feel. 
  • Be “Why’s”: Make an effort to use technology as a tool instead of an end in itself. When using technology, let’s communicate the “why” to our children and ask them to communicate theirs.  
  • All Screen-Time Is Not Equal: The tools that measure our screen-time consider all screen-time equal, but what’s happening on the screen is much more relevant than the screen itself. 
  • Remember, Tech is a Trade: What are we trading for convenience and/or connectivity?
  • Get Proactive: Tech is not neutral. It is vying for our attention and is very good at grabbing and holding it. 
  • Choose the “Right” Tech: Some digital environments are more conducive to what we’re trying to accomplish and how we’re trying to act than others. 
  • Protect Developing Brains: We are using and relying on technology more than we ever dreamed we would, but it’s important to remember that children’s brains are still developing and can literally be shaped by technology and media. 
  • Be Skeptical: While staying indoors during COVID-19, it’s natural for our tech time to increase. But it is still helpful to approach tech, especially free social media products, with a skeptical attitude because money is being made somehow. 

The CHT examines how we can use technology in better ways, including:

  • Don’t just be aware of your tech use, but how it makes you feel
  • All screen time is NOT equal
  • Making trade-offs for convenience and connectivity
  • Better tech environments for developing brains

With insight from tech experts and psychologists, CHT provides a realistic approach for how to promote digital wellbeing for the entire family during the so-called “new normal,” where we find ourselves more reliant on technology than ever before.