As we enter a new year, it’s a great time to reflect on our relationship with technology and make some changes to enhance our digital wellbeing. Here are eleven new year resolutions I’m making this year to improve my relationship with tech in 2023:
Resolution #1 Setting limits on screen time
One of the most effective ways to improve our wellbeing is to set limits on the amount of time we spend on our devices. It can help us avoid burnout, eye strain, sleep disturbances, and the other negative consequences of excessive screen time. I plan to keep an eye on my screen time in 2023, monitor my usage and set limits for myself.
Resolution #2 Unplugging from social media
Social media can be a great way to stay connected with friends and family, but it can also be a source of stress and anxiety and impact our mental health. In 2023, I plan to take regular breaks from social media or limit the amount of time I spend on specific platforms. I’ll also continue unfollowing accounts that don’t make me feel great.
Resolution #3 Being more selective with AI tools
Artificial intelligence (AI) tools have become increasingly pervasive in our lives, from virtual home assistants, to recruitment, to personalisation algorithms. While AI tools can be convenient and helpful, it’s important to be selective about which ones we use, how we use them and understand how they are built. In 2023, I plan to keep researching the AI tools I use and consider their potential impacts on my privacy, security, and wellbeing.
Resolution #4 Changing all my passwords
We should all be changing our passwords more often – but hardly any of us do. The beginning of a new year is a great prompt to do this so I’ll be changing all mine as this year ends (and making sure they’re not all the same one).
Resolution #5 Taking more screen breaks
It’s important to take regular breaks from screens to give our eyes a rest and allow our brains to recharge. In 2023, I plan to experiment with setting a timer to remind me to take a break every hour or so, and also to set aside specific times of the day to unplug from screens (early mornings and late at night are a great time to do this).
Resolution #6 Practicing digital decluttering
Just as we declutter our physical spaces, it’s important to keep decluttering digital spaces as well. This might involve deleting unnecessary apps or files, organising our desktops, or setting up folders to keep everything organised. In 2023, I plan to regularly review and declutter all my digital spaces to keep them more organised and efficient.
Resolution #7 Using technology to improve my wellbeing
Technology, while distracting, can also be used as a helpful tool to improve our overall health and wellbeing. In 2023, I plan to selectively use some of my favourite health apps or websites to track my sleep, exercise, or mindfulness practice. I’ll also be continuing to use technology to connect with others (while being mindful of #11 below).
Resolution #8 Limiting my exposure to news and current events
It’s easy to get caught up in the constant stream of news and current events, which can be a source of stress and anxiety, especially in the world in which we’re currently all living. At the end of 2022 I was a contributor on a BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Living with the News‘ discussing how over-connectedness to the news can hinder our wellbeing. So, in 2023, I plan to limit my exposure to news apps and websites to a specific time of day, rather than constantly checking for updates.
Resolution #9 (Continuing to) Resist upgrades
Since discovering how badly our digital habits are impacting the environment, I’ve been holding on to my devices for much longer without succumbing to any offers to upgrade. I’m going to aim to go through all of 2022 without an upgrade too and cut down on habits which prematurely erode battery life (such as charging overnight).
Resolution #10 Being mindful of the apps and websites I use
In 2023, I plan to be more mindful of the apps and websites I use and make sure they align with my goals. This might mean deleting apps that waste my time (some social media platforms) or using websites that prioritise privacy and security (such as DuckDuckGo, rather than Google).
Resolution #11 Getting off WhatsApp and making more calls
The last of my new year resolutions for 2023 – I plan to call my friends and family more instead of defaulting to WhatsApp and texting as I did for so much of 2022. The latter may be more convenient, but as one of the most popular recent episodes of my podcast explored, studies show how important the human voice is for feeling connected and building relationships. It made a big impression on me, so I’ll be picking up the phone more in 2023.
Read more on leading a healthier digital life
If you enjoyed my resolutions for 2022, and want to read more from me on living a healthier digital life in 2023 and beyond, pick up a copy of my latest book.