Oftentimes when I introduce myself and start talking about the positive impact of digital on our wellbeing people call me (aka class or label me – which I do not like) as an optimist. When in actual fact I am not a digital wellbeing optimist at all. I am an optimistic sceptic if you ask me.
I have seen what marginalised, isolated or otherwise offline vulnerable people experience when joining online spaces. We know that online women receive more abuse (just like offline, sadly). We know online racism is terribly and many perpetrators hide behind the anonymity of the screen. However, we also know that those acts of abuse are witnessed, recorded and easier to report than a comment made behind closed doors of a manager’s office.
So here is the core of digital wellbeing. It is not a static state of right or wrong. This is not a battle between good and evil. This is life and life is complicated. Digital wellbeing is a process of active, ongoing series of choices we need to make to keep ourselves safe and well. Choices about our own wellbeing and that of others.
So start small. Next time you play on Xbox, sit next to your cat. Take a moment between games to slow down, cuddle your pet, enjoy the wellbeing benefit of their energy and slowly go back to gaming. How does it feel to be present in both spaces and make the most of both? See…not so difficult at all.