Maintaining a healthy relationship with technology for digital wellbeing

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  • Post last modified:February 19, 2019

Technology has disrupted or at least changed so many things around us from the way we shop, consume media to entertainment and communication. However, it has affected our lifestyles the most. From the time you wake up to when you are in your bed trying to fall asleep, smart devices are your constant companions. We use technology to accomplish several tasks and make life easier for us. Technology has absolutely transformed how we spend our time whether you are going through the latest news or listening music or might be just playing a video game. Users are immersed in technology all the time and many times they even forget the time.

Most of today’s smartphones are equipped with features that offer an immersive experience. You can easily miss your dinner while watching YouTube or spending time on Facebook and Instagram. To track your use of technology and how much time you spent using your tablet or smartphone may be difficult. Untracked use or overuse can lead to boredom and poor user experience and other related problems too. So that these devices fit into your lifestyle easily you must be able to track your technology usage. Digital tools are meant to make life easier and simpler for us. To maintain a balance users must adopt healthy technology habits.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=DL-JJYFkoiw

We spend a significant part of our time browsing the internet, on social media and using email or watching videos on YouTube, Prime and Netflix. Google has increased the level of security associated with each user account and also released several tools that help you track how much time you spend on each app and using your smart devices. Parents are also worried about how their kids are using their devices and how much time they spend on social media. Adopting healthy technology habits helps you manage your time spent using technology and have a distraction and stress free experience. The meaning of digital well being differs from person to person based on the level of technology usage. We must be able to find a balance about how much technology fits into our lives easily.

Digital Wellbeing (google play)

To increase awareness, and help people adopt healthy habits, Google started a digital workshop and released Digital wellbeing videos so people can note their technology usage and find the right balance. It has partnered with several experts including psychologists, anthropologists and mindfulness experts. as well as medical professionals, like Mario Alonso Puig, known globally for his studies on brain activity, and educators like Greta Rossi. Utilizing their perspectives, the Digital well being series takes an honest assessment of how technology fits into people’s lifestyles, where people must set boundaries, the affect of smartphone notifications on a person’s productivity and tracking one’s own online habits. The digital well being series is a part of the wider range of material Google has published in this area including kids’ use of technology and managing one’s smartphone usage. Since overuse can lead to distractions and stress, people sometimes want to disconnect. They can find a better balance using these tools and tips. In the coming months Google plans to release the series across 64 nations and in more than 30 languages so as a to help a larger audience deal with technology efficiently.

The user has always been at the centre of the picture for Google and as it has continued to bring new products and services, it still relies on the same philosophy. However, as the level of technology in users’ daily lives has grown, it has become a source of distraction for many. To break the habits is difficult since checking SMSs and notifications every few minutes has become more of an obligation. Over 2017 and 18, several dedicated teams across Google have kept working on features that help you understand the devices and apps you use as well as how to disconnect when you need and maintaining healthy habits for the users and their families.

Some of the practices that Google suggests which can help you maintain a healthy relationship with technology are as follows:

Data and Android Phone controls for Digital Well Being

Android 9 Pie has a useful dashboard that you can use to know the time you spent on your device as well as number of times you unlocked the screen and the number of notifications you received. App timers will allow you to limit the time you spent on your favorite app. For example, you set the timer for 30 minutes and app timer lets you know when time is up. Do not Disturb will help you keep distractions from appearing onscreen including sounds and notifications while you are in a meeting. The Wind Down features takes the device into Do not Disturb mode when it is time to stop scrolling and to get to sleep. Android 9 Pie harnesses the power of AI to bring to you smarter features and help you find the right balance in your life.

Rules for the family

Every year a larger number of kids are getting to access connected devices including smartphones and tablets. Parents around the world can use the family Link app to manage how their kids interact with technology. Apart from setting screen time limits, the parents can also allow or block access to certain apps and also remote lock devices. They can check activity records to find how their kids are exploring. Parents can use the Family Link app to manage their kids’ activity on smart devices as well as to supervise teens’ google accounts.

Choose how much you watch

Apart from better managing your YouTube notifications, the new time watched feature allows you to fix a specific time limit for watching YouTube videos. When you are watching YouTube, it is easy to forget the time. However, utilizing the new features you can apply limits on your YouTube activity and manage how much you watch. You just need to sign into YouTube and tap on your account icon and then tap on Time Watched. From there you can adjust your autoplay and notifications settings as well as disable sound and notifications or set reminders for taking a break.

The world has changed a lot since Google was founded and instead of using simple technologies for simple searches, people are using computers and technology for performing more complex jobs and diverse services. Google has focused on efficiency, user convenience as well as security. Now, it is trying to help people manage how they interact with technology and how much so people can strike a better balance and lead a balanced digital life.

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Abhijeet Pratap

Abhijeet has been blogging on educational topics and business research since 2016. He graduated with a Hons. in English literature from BRABU and an MBA from the Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi. He likes to blog and share his knowledge and research in business management, marketing, literature and other areas with his readers.