The Costs of Being Plugged in 24/7
We weren’t designed to live like this – bombarded by digital stimuli 24/7. (I recognize some irony in raising that point on a digital platform that you may have come across on social media.) The net result of the digital revolution has been to accelerate the speed and diversity of information coming at us at all times. We unexpectedly are met with a photo of a dying refugee; next thing you know, a long forgotten ex-boyfriend’s engagement photos are laid out before us. And incoming – urgent work email from the boss, even though it’s long after bed time.
We are now living in a state of continually moving from one tense image or situation to another. Truly unplugging or disengaging from the internet isn’t a realistic option for most of us, but there are steps we can take to introduce greater moderation to our digital diet and reduce our exposure to prolonged stress.
The constant state of over stimulation is a major concern. It requires your body to continually labor to preserve and restore your adrenal glands – an incredibly taxing process that leaves your entire system sluggish and makes you feel depleted. You wouldn’t expect a car to run at top speed 100% of the time, yet we seem to think nothing of bombarding our brains with a never-ending flow of data, imagery, and information. No wonder so many women I meet seem to be stressed out from the very first moment they wake in the morning until they are finally able to throw themselves down for a few fitful hours of sleep.
Try to think of yourself as a rebel and push back on society’s shift toward the digitization of everything. I remember a day when people needed to rely on meeting up in person and seeing each other face to face in order to keep their relationships intact. Today with the advent of social media and texting, it is easy to feel like you are keeping a friendship alive – but are you really investing any time and effort? My challenge to you is to seek out a friend who you haven’t seen in person in some time – and make it a point to catch up face to face. Even if arranging the schedules turns out to be a nightmare, make it a priority – and see how it feels. Humans are social animals – and no algorithm can replace that.