How often do you think about your digital wellness? In 2020, it’s time to start taking back our screen time. Since over 90% of free time in the U.S. is spent on digital devices, it’s clear that spending less time on screens altogether isn’t a perfect approach. This is because our screens can do more than just offer us mindless scrolling. Depending on how we use tech, our digital world has the power to connect us, motivate us, keep us healthy and on track toward our goals. 

The Problem 

The problem comes with the fact that most of us aren’t using our devices this way. TikTok usage skyrocketed 300% within a month following the onset of shelter in place guidelines this spring. This app, among others like Instagram and Facebook, are designed to increase users’ time on screen. 

Excessive screen time on apps that make us less happy has been found to increase the risk of diseases like obesity, diabetes and sleep problems. Furthermore, social anxiety as well as loneliness and depression can come from too much time on social media, especially in younger generations but in older ones, too. 

Technology can either bring us closer to our goals if we prioritize digital wellness. Or, it can set us back further from them. 

The BetterYou Solution

The time we spend on our devices is often controlled by what we’ll watch. App makers design apps that draw us in and keep us refreshing the page, addicted to checking that red notification icon. But with a tool like BetterYou, the time you spend on your device can be controlled by what YOU want. 

BetterYou is your digital health coach. You tell it what’s important to you by setting goals around your physical and mental health, and BetterYou gives you credit for using apps that get you closer to those goals. The AI-based coach learns the apps that tend to use up your time, and sends you a gentle nudge to remind you of the goals you set. Through this technology, you’re controlling your device time, rather than your device controlling you.

You attain digital wellness through this balance. You spend some time on social media apps, but you also learn to use your device to call loved ones. Maybe you learn a new language or read a self development book. It’s about your technology supplementing your life and giving you more life, not less. BetterYou uses this to provide a higher education and corporate wellness solution to help people be their best.

Tips for Digital Wellness

  1. Put the apps you know you tend to idle on in the same folder, and move that folder to the last page of your home screen, or its own page altogether. This helps you be more intentional with seeking them out, rather than clicking on them simply because you see them. It also adds a stopping cue by giving you an extra step to access the app. 
  2. Set reminders in your phone (Reminders or Calendar app) for things you wanted to remember. This way, when you find yourself losing track of time on Instagram, you won’t miss a Zoom meeting you had scheduled, or whatever the commitment is. BetterYou sends nudges, but this is a way to create your own spin on it. 
  3. Set your phone to Do Not Disturb at a certain time each night when you start to wind down. One notification at bedtime can cost you an hour or more of sleep if you aren’t proactive.