As you may have seen from my recent posts I have been in a constant battle to reduce my internet usage, despite working online. As a society I think we are only just beginning to realise some of the problems that the internet is causing to our mental wellbeing. One thing I haven’t seen much written about, but is certainly the catalyst for a lot of my own attempts at digital minimalism, is the anxiety caused by being constantly connected to others (from a distance).
I’ve always been a worrier. Part of me likes being a worrier. Worrying has always allowed me to plan ahead. It is worrying that means I save money for a rainy day. It is worrying that means I am always learning new things to keep me employable in a fast changing world. It is worrying that ensures I never miss a flight. Anxiety is a very useful primal driver, but it can also be completely debilitating when you have too much of it. It is also worrying that means I have a hard time shutting off work, even when I’m on holiday. It is worrying that means I rarely treat myself to a luxury. It is worrying that means I can’t relax when I am working away from home, a long way away from my wife.
The internet can cause anxiety for lots of reasons but one way I see very little being written about is the cost of being always a few seconds away from each other, digitally. Right now if I needed to tell my wife (who is at work) something I could send her a text, message her on Facebook, ping her on Skype, send her an email or if all else fails, the old fashioned method of calling her phone. As such we often send each other quick messages throughout the day. It’s lovely to stay in touch all day, but it also creates an expectancy, or maybe even a dependency.Continue Reading