Information Skills Blog - Digital Wellbeing

Let us shine a light on tips and tools to support your research process. This week: digital wellbeing.

hands typing into Google on a laptop

It is Love Your Library week here at Wolfson and so we wanted to highlight ways of healthy online engagement.

Do you get anxious when your phone is low on battery? Why is that?

In many cases it is because we worry about being out of contact. We are social beings. While there are many reports about phone-zombies, with heads buried in a phone rather than smiling at passers-by to say hello, it could be argued that digital technology has only sought to encourage our desire to communicate and stay in touch.

What people want from being online is often what they want from their face-to-face world. We seek out ways to connect, find information, relax, learn, de-stress and participate with others.

Digital wellbeing is less about the act of disconnecting from technology and more about the simplicity of understanding that you are in control of your digital destiny. Technology doesn't have to cause problems if we use it responsibly and to aid and assist us in our goals. So engage but stay critical of what you read. This isn't just using being alert to 'fake news' but also question why you agree with something rather than simply bolstering your views about what you disagree with.

That said, it is easy to become distracted when online. This may be keeping in touch on social media or it may be about following up links on an academic webpage, googling things we read about in an article, or checking email while simultaneously trying to write an essay or thesis. Now that the boundary between work and leisure has been eroded by 24/7 access to the online environment, it can be healthy to lay down parameters.

So if you are looking for ways to turn off consider:

  • Leaving your phone at home or keeping it on silent and in a drawer at night
  • Scaring yourself by registering with Checky* to see how often you use it
  • Using Pocket* to collate and read your links at a later date
  • Unsubscribing from services you don’t use and emails you don't want
  • Finding a focused place to work, such as a library, where peer pressure will stop you checking your phone
  • Prioritising and organising your tasks using apps like Trello*
  • Block out distracting sites for a set time (and plant virtual trees!) using Forest*
  • Saving time and automating processes with IFTTT

To find out more, we are running an Academic Skills for Success session on Thursday 14th about this topic and will be launching a new LibGuide tab on Digital Wellbeing that day too.

*please note that we do not endorse the content of external apps.

What's on

Music @ Wolfson

Music & Madeira

22/02/2019 at 21.00

Recital in the Lee Hall following Formal Hall

Humanities at Wolfson

Humanities Society - The restitution of Nazi-looted art in post-fascist Austria, Italy and West Germany

26/02/2019 at 17.45

Can we indeed talk of a ‘fifty-year wait for justice’, and how did restitution practices, or lack thereof, contribute to the reconstruction of these national communities?

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Lunchtime Seminar - Towards a socially conscious evolutionary science of culture

27/02/2019 at 13.00

Attempts to apply evolutionary models and thinking to human societies have a dark past, ranging from Darwin's own characterisation of 'civilised' versus 'savage' races, to social Darwinism and eugenics, and the more recent efforts of some evolutionary psychologists to naturalise oppressive social stereotypes.

Australia with soldiers and aboriginal children

Education Society - Negotiating Education

28/02/2019 at 17.30

The First School for Aboriginal Children and the Diplomatic World of Colonial New South Wales, 1814-1822

pile of clocks

Skills for Academic Success - Time management

28/02/2019 at 18.00

The Skills for Academic Success programme is a fantastic opportunity for you to develop skills that will support your academic endeavours.