I’m in my fourth year of working on the Digital Identity framework. And i’ve noticed that increasingly, many of us are pretty much always switched on. Think about it. Do you have a quick flick through your Twitter or Facebook streams just before you go to bed? And is this the first thing you do in the morning? During the day, do you have many moments of distraction, when you turn to your tablet, smart-phone or desktop screen to check out random bits of information?
The rate at which we access and consume information is only set to increase. So, how can we take a more mindful approach to digital? With this in mind I’ve included several pieces on finding balance in an on-demand lifestyle.
How Tech Is Driving The Business Of Instant Gratification
This piece starts by making the point that we live in an increasingly on-demand culture. For instance, there is an app for pretty much everything. A tap on your smartphone screen can help you book a hotel room or seek companionship. In 2014, this trend is set to grow as more aspects of our lives are integrated with a new generation of on-demand services and products. But will our growing need for instant gratification start having an adverse affect on our decision making ability? And if we value speed above everything else, what effect will this have on vital services that are struggling to keep up with the change?
Managing a Mind
This is a poignant piece by Belfast based writer, designer and educator Christopher Murphy. He shares some of his detrimental experiences with technology that ultimately compelled him to attempt suicide. The sheer pace of change, along with the constant need to keep up, lead to a loss of control of his professional life. And social media, driven by endless metrics, became an addiction, leaving little room for reflection. Christopher makes an important point – the social/digital media does offer endless choice. But the next time you come across a potential distraction online, ask yourself – is it important? In the long term, this simple step can help create a better work-life balance.
Stop Caring About What Others Think, and Get Back Your Self-Respect
This is a great piece on Lifehacker. It is human nature to want to be liked and seek approval, but when this manifests as a fear of alienating or offending others, it is bad for your well-being. Social media can exacerbate this problem – the Internet haters can confirm your paranoid delusion that everyone secretly hates you. But that is not true. This article links through to a piece that offers 5 steps for taking back control.
What Does Compassion Sound Like?
Moving away from digital context, this is an interesting study on Compassion. The University of Rochester Medical Centre team has attempted to pinpoint a catalogue of compassionate words and actions in doctor-patient conversations. Their goal is to create a behaviour taxonomy that will ultimately guide medical training and education. According to the study, main elements of compassion are – recognition of suffering, emotional resonance, and movement towards addressing suffering.
If you have come across some good writing on this subject, please share a link by leaving a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Abhay / @gopaldass