Updated: Jun 3, 2022
If you could change only ONE thing about your digital habits that will make the biggest impact, what would that be?
Consciously Digital has won an EU grant, which allowed us jointly with Anglia Ruskin University to study, how our digital habits impact our offline lives. Between March and May 2022, we collected over 400 responses from all around the world, and rigorously analyzed them with factor analysis tools to develop the first holistic measurement of digital wellbeing, beyond screen time. We call it Consciously Digital Wellbeing Scale (CDWS).
We wanted to understand, how what we do online impacts our relationships, productivity, happiness, control over body, sleep patterns etc. So that we could answer one simple question:
Of all the things we could change about how we use devices, which one would make the biggest impact?
Our preliminary analysis shows that the impact of our digital habits can be explained by one of 5 main factors. We suggest that you evaluate each of them and think, what it means for you and maybe what you could change about them.
1. Effect on interpersonal relationships
Do your devices interfere with your personal life or support it? Do you look at your Instagram instead of being there 100% for close ones? Do you stare at your screen during the parties? What could you do to have more meaningful and recharging personal relationships?
Do your devices help you accomplish important goals and improved productivity, or distract from it? Do they make your life more convenient or create more trouble? How can you make your phone and computer your tool, not your distraction machine?
3. Sense of control and conscious usage
This factor includes both time we spend on devices, as well as what we do on them. Are your devices absorbing your attention, or do you control them? What will help you get back in control?
4. Work pressure
Do you feel the need to be “always on” and continue using digital devices for work outside of working hours? Does it really serve your career or purpose? What could you change in how and when you work?
5. Sleep habits
Do you delay your sleep because of scrolling news or social media? Do you check your phone first thing in the morning, before you even wake up? And if you do, what effect does it have on you? What becomes possible, if you allow yourself to fully relax and not check your devices around sleep time?
While these are still preliminary research outcomes, and we will need to cross-validate our findings with another sample by collecting more responses, we can already relatively confidently say that if you tackle one or more factors listed above, you will feel much better about yourself, and more in control of your own life.
Do any of these findings resonate with you? Have you tried any of the things above? Please, comment below.
P.S. Would you help us get more responses for our second wave of research? Then please take it, if you haven't answered it previously, or share with your network.
You could win a copy of the bestselling book Homo Distractus: Fight for Your Choices and Identity in the Digital Age.