October 2018: Digital Life

Alexander Reben

The amount of time you spend on screens is directly related to your level of anxiety. Extensive social media use leads to depression and isolation.

At least, that’s what I think someone said they heard from a study that may or may not have been published in a reputable journal and/or website.

In a new normal, where all news is fake and all personal truth is fact and everything is searchable and therefore knowable at any time right in the palm of our hands, are we more in tune with ourselves… or less?

My current life chapter is based on an endeavor to listen to myself, to follow my intuition, to listen to my gut. But with so much constant digital noise, it’s a serious challenge.

Listen, I love – LOVE – the Internet. It connects me to friends from way back and family I’ve yet to meet. It’s been a vital tool in achieving nearly every goal of my adult life, from pre-mapping my marathon training runs to running Pregame. It informs me, entertains me, connects me, empowers me. I believe it’s accelerated equality by creating platforms to organize and educate.

And yet, it’s addictive. It feeds my worst tendencies: comparing myself to others, creating a personal press feed that doesn’t tell the whole truth, losing hours of sleep to the black holes of YouTube or Reddit. Digital detox has become more than a hashtag; it’s a frequent necessity.

It’s easy to treat our digital habits more casually than those in the “real world.” While we’ll recycle old papers we no longer want in the house, why delete old emails when Google just keeps making storage cheaper?

But what if we held ourselves to the same standards online as we do off? Sure, comment trolling would go way down, but what about hoarding, valuing time, business interactions, what we choose to disclose and with whom?

This month, we invite you to be conscious about the way you navigate digital life, and its effect on the rest of your life, work and community.

After all, if our personal values include things like authenticity, honesty, compassion, and patience, it matters how we relate to ourselves and others online just as much as it does off.

Strategy & Style,

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