As Editor-in-Chief of a website, Susannah is fully embedded in the digital world, but she has realised how crazy it has become. She has increasingly felt the need to pull herself back a little from digital overload. We have all become completely addicted to our phones, she says, and she is no exception.
The irony hasn’t escaped her that you’ll be reading this and watching her vlog on a digital device, but as Susannah notes, it’s important to take a step back - not to stop the use of technology, but to limit it.
To complete her month-long experiment, Susannah will only be looking at her phone at specific times of the day. Checking Facebook is limited to once a day and Instagram once in the morning and once in the evening.
Susannah had a wakeup call recently when she found herself walking down the street, checking Facebook on her phone. After looking up and taking in her surroundings, she realised that everyone else was doing the same, in their own little world, oblivious to others and even to the traffic as they crossed the road. It dawned on her that she would take her phone everywhere (even to the loo!) and that something had to change.
While Susannah encourages you to continue looking at Get The Gloss, she notes that enjoying digital media doesn’t mean being on our phones 24 hours a day. They don’t need to come with us to breakfast, lunch and dinner – and especially not to bed at night.
Reading Thrive, the book by Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of digital news site, the Huffington Post provided inspiration for Sus’s challenge. Arianna herself suffered from burnout and awoke one day on the floor of her office, having collapsed from exhaustion.
Susannah believes overloading on social media can make us ill and advice posted there - especially on food and nutrition - doesn’t always come from qualified sources. Social media causes FOMO (fear of missing out) as we compare ourselves and to others, which can trigger anxiety and depression.
Susannah likes Arianna’s idea of turning off notifications on our phones – putting ourselves in charge of our devices, not them in charge of us.
Finally, she makes a plea for us to get back to living in the real world and to step away from the incessant digital chatter.
If you’re with her in restricting your screen usage for a month, let us know!