According to a recent study published by Harvard Business Review, the increase in screen time has adversely affected mental, emotional, and physical health. Researchers and doctors advise people to disconnect every once in a while, whereas a handful of bold entrepreneurs have made it their mission to educate people on how to live in harmony and maintain a synergistic relationship with smart tools. These extraordinary minds believe keeping a distance from such devices won’t help; knowing how to use them effectively is essential to living a healthy life.
While doctors and digital well-being experts are actively focused on switching to safer alternatives, some entrepreneurs like Nina Claire Hersher believe these devices can be turned into valuable assets if treated with a bit of caution. As an advocate of digital well-being, Nina is the Chief Learning Officer of The Digital Wellness Institute and the renowned author of ‘Your Playbook for Thriving in the Remote Work Era.’ Nina holds a specialized MSW in digital culture, and program development and is an Oasis in the Overwhelm Facilitator and Retreat Specialist. Hersher also co-founded the annual Digital Wellness Day, which reached over 7 million people in 36 countries. Her extraordinary work has been published in Forbes, The Stanford Social Innovation Review, Al Jazeera, Voice of America, and numerous other media outlets.
Nina believes that the secret to achieving wellness in the digital era lies in bringing intention to our attention when using technology, (to promote optimal health in both mind and body). When asked about her approach to the topic of health and technology, she reveals, “I emphasize a healthy-tech approach more than an anti-tech approach to wellness in this digital era. I teach people to use technology in a way that fuels them instead of giving them fatigue which results in positive mental health.”
She went on to explain how the approach of Digital Flourishing® at the Digital Wellness Institute, where she serves as Chief Learning Officer, has redefined mindful tech usage and tech-life balance for thousands across the globe. The digital wellness expert further shared her insight on how people need to unplug from the internet for at least 30 minutes on a daily basis for their sleep health, particularly upon waking up and before going to bed. “There are myriad ways to disconnect that embrace self-care and don’t feel like screen time deprivation. When I talk about reclaiming peace of mind, I’m talking about that mental state of calmness or tranquility – where you’re free from worry and anxiety. Tech can help you achieve that, too. Especially the balanced usage of tech and application of tech-enabled health. I don’t mean to just stare at a blank wall, lost in thought – no. There are activities – healthy activities that you could busy yourself with, and there are tools and devices that you can use to help with those activities.”
Elaborating on how the latest in cutting-edge tech could help people practice self-care, she says, “I think everyone could benefit from exploring these precautionary measures because it doesn’t only help them, it also aids first responders to take care of them and their loved ones in case of emergencies.”
Self-care is the practice of actively protecting one’s personal well-being and happiness, particularly during periods of stress. The current generation of smartphones features health apps that allow doctors and first responders access to the patient’s medical history, such as blood type, allergies, emergency contacts, and more. Ensuring yours have been inputted and are up-to-date today is a great way to make the most of these features.
Most modern-day smartphones come with tracking features that help calculate steps and activities such as distance traveled, stairs climbed, and more. These features can keep track of daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly totals and goals. You can also explore wearables to help you meet your fitness goals and even compete with friends.
Heart Rate Monitors
Smartphones allow individuals to monitor their heart rate with just a tap of a button. They can add their name, age, gender, birthday, height, weight, and other details to get more accurate results. More advanced remote heart rate monitoring tools are also used by doctor’s offices to track and flag irregular patterns as well as prevent heart attacks by notifying 911.
iPhone’s native operating system also comes with Family Sharing and Find My Friends features that help keep track of family members with their consent. Beyond location, tracking and adjusting kids’ screen time is a smartphone capability enjoyed by most parents, allowing them more control of their children’s screen time with just a tap of a button.
Several cases have been recorded stating how SIRI saved people when they were stuck in places and couldn’t physically hold their phones. Many other smartphone manufacturers have replicated this AI-operated feature to detect SOS signals and automatically dial 911. Nina notes that every age and industry has different norms and requirements dictating the required screen time for school and work. “People should ask themselves when reaching for their smartphones, is it out of habit or necessity? Even for leisure, is passive or active use – and does it feel like it’s fueling you or fatiguing you?” Nina asks.