Are Digital Comms Damaging Our Health?

Are Digital Comms Damaging Our Health?

I worry by writing this, I may actually be harming your health. I recently read a great piece of content by Carrie Barron who stated that “American adults now spend over 11 hours per day listening to, watching, reading or generally interacting with media—sometimes longer.” Carrie pointed out “that’s more time than we spend eating and sleeping. From YouTube videos to viral tweets, we are ingesting a huge volume of media, and it has consequences.”

In a multi channel world the challenge to all employers is to protect and help colleagues improve their mental health. Every day we read very worrying stats that our mental health is getting worse and our challenge is what can we do as employers?

Carrie Barron and Nicco Mele urge all their readers to remember we all have the opportunity of a lifetime to re-shape our still primitive and often unruly digital culture into a safer, healthier, more rewarding domain. They suggest three actions for us all to think about:

“First, we need a greater effort to increase digital literacy—to cultivate and inculcate a basic understanding of different content types; to reveal their impacts on the brain; and to emphasise their benefits to emotional well-being. … At stake, and under discussion, should be more than just the known (and real) risks of indiscriminate phone use or screen time.”

“Second, in parallel, it’s important to formulate and circulate simple principles governing digital hygiene—when to use and when to resist digital content to protect sleep, enhance interpersonal relationships, combat loneliness or dislocation, and improve other biological imperatives, like breathing.

Thirdly, there is a broad consensus from decision makers in the tech sector, leaders in entertainment, policymakers, and academics that it’s time for a transparent labelling system.” I find this fascinating and I know it would be welcomed by employers across the globe.

“Recent advances in neuroscience and psychology have increased our understanding of how neurotransmitters like dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and GABA, strongly correlated with specific feelings, can be triggered by certain types of digital material.”

At Let’s Get Healthy we continually challenge businesses to consider innovative ways to develop their health and wellbeing strategies. It is important for thought leaders to continue to drive the agenda on mental health and wellbeing and I am excited see how this thinking develops.

If your business would benefit from tailored, cost effective leadership and engagement training on the mental resilience of your teams, then get in touch on 01924 666 295.

Taken from Harvard Business Review: Our Digital Lives Don’t Need to Make us Unhappy by Carrie Barron, Nicco Mele and Michael Phillips Moskowitz