Modern life is a digital jungle. You just never know what is lurking in the next newsfeed refresh. Amid the chaos of multiple social media accounts, overflowing inboxes, and an endless supply of device options (iPhone, iPad, iPod, iWatch, iTakingOverMyLife), it’s almost inevitable that you’ll pick up a few weird habits along the way.
There comes a time in a millennial’s life when a harsh realisation dawns. It may be while you’re checking Instagram while you sit on the toilet, or sending an email to someone sitting within 10 metres – that sudden moment of enlightenment when you think to yourself, ‘what the fuck am I doing?’
And hey, we’ve all been there. Here are some of the weirdest habits that I plan to break as soon as I’ve finished mindlessly flicking through twitter. Brb.
Taking my phone for walkies.
I’m not talking about taking my phone out and about. That’s relatively normal, I believe. I’m talking about picking my phone up and carrying it around the house whenever I stand up. Walking from the kitchen to the lounge? Carrying my phone. Popping into the bedroom to grab a sweater? Carrying my phone. It’s like I can’t be separated from the damn thing for five seconds or I’ll forget how to breathe and die.
Checking social media in bed.
Back in the days of the BlackBerry (I know. I’m old.) I used to check emails in bed. Thankfully, I kicked that one to the curb, but it’s been replaced by that one last glance at all of my social accounts before switching off the lights. Which is really a completely terrible idea, because if there’s anything a) interesting or b) disturbing happening on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram, I’ll be stuck tapping away and all of a sudden it’s 1:30am.
Following threads on Twitter.
One tweet leads to another, which leads to another, and suddenly you’re on the page of some random who lives in Norway. And you still haven’t figured out how the thread started. Do not engage. Do not follow. Do not pass Go, do not collect £200.
Giving the haters a front row seat in my mind.
As the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished. Eventually, if you engage in digital life, it’s highly likely you’ll eventually encounter a hater or a troll. Or, if you’re unlucky, both. Strangers saying nasty things from behind a screen don’t deserve a second thought. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re struggling. (Call Lifeline on 0800 543 354 or Youthline on 0800 376 633) Also remember, cyber harassment is now a crime. Check out NetSafe’s guide to the law, and if you think someone is illegally harassing you, and you’re feeling emotionally distressed, you can contact the police.
Our digital connectivity has the potential to have a massively positive impact on our world, but sometimes we’ve just got to step away from the machines for a moment. Being left to our own devices doesn’t have to be taken literally.