How has the virtual world impacted your life? Do you love the accessibility and convenience? Or do you hate connecting with others this way?
Most of us would say both…. We enjoy being able to connect and work through online platforms, but we also feel like it can be exhausting and lack meaning.
What impact does this have on our well-being?
It can be frustrating
Technology seems to have a mind of its own and does not always work smoothly or how we expect it to. It can be complicated and overwhelming for those who are not familiar with the technology.
It may be an emotional rollercoaster
It is great to be able to see and talk to our loved ones who we are unable to access otherwise, but there is no replacement for face to face energy. We still long to be in the presence of others, to be able to response with body language and to experience human contact.
It can be physically fatiguing
Sitting all day on the computer can be draining and has a negative impact on our heart health.
It can increase demands
The convenience of connection that the virtual world brings also comes with increased working demands. We can now schedule a meeting for every hour of the day because all it takes is a click of a button to join. This means we are taking less breaks, experiencing video chat fatigue and exposed to a lot more screen time.
It has a negative impact on our self-image
Being able to turn off our video may be easier when it comes to general informational meetings, but for times that require us to keep our video on, we are in constant view of ourselves. We start to be hyper aware of how our face, hair and our environment appear. This is an uncomfortable way to communicate, we generally are not staring at ourselves when we talk to others, so this close and personal look at our physical appearance can be draining on our self-image.
Finding ways to protect our psychological well-being from this virtual world.
- Be more physically active; it is easier to spend all day on the computer, feel fatigued, go home and sit down in front of the TV or another device.
- Take Tech breaks! Go outside, be in silence, read a book, write, etc
- Practice good sleep and relaxation habits; give your body and mind enough time to rest and recharge.
- Find meaningful connections; sometimes we do not have a choice about how we are able to connect at work, but in our personal life you can decide what type of connection is important for you.
Social Communication is an innate need for all humans, it benefits both our psychological and emotional well-being.
How do I know what communication is meaningful for me?
What is your style of communication? Assertive or Passive?
How do you prefer to communicate? Informational or Experiential? (communication does not always have to be about an exchange of words, our energy and body language can be meaningful communication, ie. Watching a movie with someone, eating a meal together or going for a walk)
By discovering what the right way of connecting is for you, it becomes easier to find meaning in your social interactions, this is important for our overall well-being and a way to create balance again.