STATEMENT & RESPONSE TO COVID-19
March 11, 2021

Your Guide to Leading a Healthy, Balanced Tech Life

In the past year, triggered by lockdowns, we have become more and more reliant on the Internet for almost every aspect of our lives. How do we make sure that we can be productive online while still being mindful and reflective of moments that happen right in our midst? 

We celebrate birthdays and graduations via videoconferencing apps. We use our laptops for work and school, our smartphones to pay bills and order groceries. We entertain ourselves by watching streaming TV shows and scrolling through social media feeds. We worry about the state of the world as we devour news websites.

It’s been a year of virtual living--some of it great, some of it not so. What we see on our screens can sometimes be overwhelming. But, we can’t simply unplug anymore: Technology is no longer an option but a necessity. 

Living a healthy digital lifestyle, however, is still up to you. Here are four tips to leading a balanced and positive tech life.

1. Be mindful of your screen time.

Instead of scrolling mindlessly through your feed, be aware of what you’re seeing, thinking, and feeling. What triggers positive and negative emotions? Check in with yourself to learn what online activities make you happy, anxious, or angry. This way, you can decide which ones to avoid or ramp up.

Use a screen time-limiting app to keep you from falling down the rabbit hole of social media when you should--and could--be more productive. Some symptoms of excessive screen time include headaches, sore eyes, and chronic neck and back pain, so listen to your body as well.

(Also read: Indoors and Online: Internet Usage Around the World)

2. Make technology work for you--not against you.

According to the self-determination theory, humans have three core needs to fuel motivation and growth: autonomy, relatedness, and competence.

Think of technology as another tool to build a better you: be in charge of your actions, feel connected to others, and improve yourself.

  • Use technology to feel more in control of your life. It can be as simple as a meal planning app, a family calendar, or an inspiration board for your garden. The point is you’re taking charge and making decisions for yourself. When you’re on social media, be more active (commenting, sharing) than passive (scrolling without engaging). Studies suggest that active use of social media can have a positive effect on our mood.
  • Use technology to nurture relationships. Social media helps us know what our loved ones are up to, which is great, especially during this pandemic. But when you like or comment on a post, it’s more about communication and not a strong, interpersonal connection--which is so important for a sense of belonging. Prioritize real-time conversations instead by scheduling catch-ups over the phone, video chat, or text. 
  • Use technology to be more. You could learn a new skill, take an online course, or explore self-care techniques--whatever you feel would give you a sense of achievement or success. Purposeful screen time can make you happier, healthier, and more confident.
     

(Also read: Apps to Kickstart Your New Year's Resolutions)

3. Be picky with notifications.

If you’re getting an alert every few minutes for a seat sale, a Facebook message, or a Twitter post, you won’t be able to focus on the task at hand. Turn off low-value alerts that result in mindless screen time. Only enable notifications for important and time-sensitive apps. These could be work- or school-related apps and group messaging apps for family and close friends.

(Also read: The Future of Work: Is Remote Work Here to Stay?)

4. Set digital boundaries--and stick to them.

Just because technology can make us available 24/7 doesn’t mean we should be. We need to care for our health, and if, for you, that means setting tech-free times, set schedules with colleagues and loved ones. 

This is not about being selfish, but about practicing self-care. Everyone--including yourself--must understand and respect that.

  • When your day is done, disable office-related notifications. As we continue to work from home, digital boundaries are crucial. To avoid burnout, you need personal time to rest and recharge. 
  • Cut off screen time at least one hour before bed. The blue light from smartphones, tablets, laptops, and TV screens disrupts the natural sleep cycle. Also, try using a real alarm clock so you can keep your phone out of the bedroom.
  • Make mealtimes a gadget-free zone. Whether you’re eating alone or with others, put your phone away and focus on the food and the company. 
  • Consider a weekly social media fast. It’s called No Social Sundays. Spending one day unplugged, you could turn your gaze away from the screen and towards other aspects of your life: a book you’ve been meaning to read, a board game with your children, or simply a lazy afternoon staring at blue skies. A day with no news, no comparisons; fewer worries, and less stress.

 

Our digital life is here to stay. We’ve seen how it has sustained society amidst a global crisis, keeping us productive, efficient, and connected. It has become an integral part of who we are and how we live our lives. 

Just as we focus on improving our mental and physical health, our digital wellbeing should also be a priority. As with anything that we use or consume, we have to strike a balance that works best for us--one that minimizes our anxiety and stress while fueling our joy and sense of purpose. 

As one of the Top 20 EMS companies in the world, IMI has over 40 years of experience in providing electronics manufacturing and technology solutions

At IMI, we believe that humanity drives technology, and we direct our passion at solutions that enhance our way of living.  With more than 400,000 square meters of factory space in 22 factories across 10 countries, we are positioned to build your business on a global scale.

Our proven technical expertise, worldwide reach, and vast experience in high-growth and emerging markets make us the ideal global manufacturing solutions partner. 

Let's work together to build our future today.

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Integrated Micro-Electronics, Inc., also known as IMI, is one of the leading global providers of electronics manufacturing services (EMS) and power semiconductor assembly and test services (SATS) in the world.