On March 14, 2020 (in the case of Spain) life as it was known until then began to change in an unimaginable way at that time. For years we had been seeing how the digital world had more and more presence in our lives and in our day to day , both personally and professionally, but we had never been so aware of its importance until it was the only way to connect with what was outside our homes .
Thanks to the internet and more specifically social networks, social life continued to have a great space in our lives, being, for many, a kind of lifeboat in a truly complicated moment. Keep seeing ours (friends and family) was only possible through a screen . This way of life allowed us to celebrate birthdays, meetings, reunions or even dinners from day to day, but accompanied. A new way of living that made us appreciate, like never before, the positive value of social networks .
But in turn this also meant discovering a new way of having emotions, especially the happiness that fluctuates between the physical and the virtual . A scenario that is increasingly even between both worlds and that has made us ‘ reconceptualize what happiness is ‘, as explained by Marta Calderero, collaborating professor of the Studies of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the Open University of Catalonia .
With this new way of life, the world was polarized in two: on the one hand, those who saw something good coming; on the other, those who discovered problems and deficiencies. On a personal level, there are those who have begun to live better by taking physical distance and reducing their circles; but also those who have been limited by the mandatory distance rule. Regarding the personal field, there are those who have found teleworking the perfect option to combine personal and professional life, also managing to strengthen ties with co-workers and team when going through difficult times together. However, there are those who have forcibly discovered the lack of organization and leadership in their jobs as well as the negative effects of having the workplace in their own home.
Be that as it may, Mireia Cabero, also a collaborating professor at the UOC’s Studies in Psychology and Education Sciences, assures that “we need to build our own physical emotional well-being and our own digital emotional wealth “, since each of them it offers a different kind of happiness and quality of life that is just as important to our lives right now. For this, both teachers have established five keys to be able to combine both spaces to achieve the same positive report in both .
Keys to happiness in the digital age
Rearrange our reality
Teleworking has made personal life and professional life coexist under the same roof and, therefore, it is first difficult to establish a line that separates both worlds. To avoid this, it is advisable to build a suitable work space and environment with your own furniture to work in the digital field, but also to have other places where disconnection is ensured .
It is important to include in our daily routine certain mandatory disconnection exercises . To do this, they recommend disconnecting two or three times a day for about thirty minutes in a row so that our brain recharges the energy that digitality takes away from it. It is also important to limit the digital stimuli that come to us when we are connected . To do this, you can limit the time of use of the applications, disconnect notifications and even unsubscribe from some others that are not really necessary.
The importance of digital optimism
Now that we reside more in the digital environment, it is more important than ever that it reports positive feelings and emotions that, through other channels, we are not receiving. For this, Cabero y Calderero recommends, for example, to consult accounts on social networks early in the day that provide us with ideas for the working day , thus finding some motivation in this .
Prioritize physical experiences
It is important that personal experiences are prioritized over digital as much as possible . Although doing things outside the home is now a bit more limited, there are always options: making calls while walking, having a coffee, a meeting outdoors … Activities that will make us move away from digital confinement to some extent and they will also serve us to charge the batteries.
Of course, as digital companies are going to be existing, it is also important to look for quality time in this scenario . If we want to spend leisure time on the internet and through a screen, let it be to connect with other people and live experiences as close as possible to the physical.
Search spaces of common interests
Cabero and Calderero also emphasize that, despite talking about individual happiness that combines the physical with the digital, many times the collective is also needed to improve one’s self . For them it is also important to have personal spaces with people who share the same interests as us and who find happiness in the same way . In this way we will be able to be in happy environments that will also be transmitted to our personal state of mind.