Digital Wellness

In this society of countless social media platforms, there is an ongoing trend that humans are becoming too addicted to our phones, the internet, and overall everything inside the digital world instead of outside. The Washington Post article describes this compulsion as B.F. Skinner’s pigeons, pecking for possible rewards that soon become obsessive, and delve into ways many new programmers have been combating it (Wan, 2018). Nick Fitz, a researcher of behavior of humans at Duke University, has teamed up with a branch of programmers to find how and why people become addicted to social media and the ways in which he can combat it.
Being a digital citizen online means becoming a reasonable citizen online. Much like we cannot fully engage in the outside world for hours on end, we cannot do the same online. The wellness comes from balance, which is what Fitz is trying to accomplish. After running psychological studies, Fitz realized that two results surfaced after completely cutting his participants of phone notifications. One, their stress levels decreased, and two, their anxiety increased because of the fear of missing important news, emails, text, or not being there when a huge story or mind blowing video is posted (Wan, 2018). In this technology world we now live in, we cannot be cut off from either. With work, school, and social groups interconnected, a digital citizen must be updated on their digital world without getting lost to it. Fitz’s solutions are the same ideas as beating fire with fire, creating apps that countdown how much time a person has or how a tree is slowly dying whenever a person is on their phone for too long (Wan, 2018). The user can now be online, but has a countdown and sense of dread to eventually get off it.
In my opinion, the resource relaying these new methods is thorough and shows the process in which Nick Fitz came to this. The methods themselves, however, I have a problem with. By showing a user their own mortality or have them feel responsible for the deaths of trees, this produces more anxiety which is not healthy, especially for a citizen who has a lot of connections to the digital realm. Better alternatives would be offer rewards for being offline, such as points for a gift card or coupons. That way, the new balance that the citizen has made actually goes into a better digital wellness. With Fitz’s method, being on and away creates anxiety. For wellness to be well, being on and away should create peace.
Rebel developers are trying to cure our smartphone addiction — with an app (2018, June 17). William Wan. Retrieved September 1st, 2018 from–with-an-app/2018/06/17/153e2282-6a81-11e8-bea7-c8eb28bc52b1_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.efccc9477677

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s