Our Comprehensive Guide to Digital Wellbeing

In today's high-tech, interconnected age, the internet has become a part of our collective furniture. With the widespread use of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers, we spend a considerable amount of time on digital devices without even knowing it.

We often take this time for granted and don't think enough about the negative effects. While technology has undoubtedly made our lives easier, it has also created new and increasingly unavoidable challenges that can profoundly affect our mental and physical health.

‘Digital wellbeing’ or ‘digital wellness’ are terms that appear to just be marketing jargon on first glance, but it’s far more than that. Terms like these are gaining popularity as more people become aware of the need to balance their digital lives with their ‘real’ lives, and the lines between become increasingly blurred.

What Is Digital Wellbeing?

Simply put, digital wellbeing (or ‘digital wellness’) refers to the state of being healthy and balanced in our digital lives.

It involves being mindful of our use of digital technology and carefully managing how much time we spend on it to ensure we get as many benefits as possible whilst minimising the risks and downsides.

So, when looked at in this way, Digital wellbeing is something we practice every day to varying extents - no TV past a certain time, putting your phone on Do Not Disturb in the evenings, and ensuring you eat around the dinner table are just some ways that this manifests itself.

Digital wellbeing also encompasses many different aspects of our lives, such as our relationships, work, education, leisure time, and even sleep. It involves using technology in a way that supports our goals and values, rather than letting it control us or get in the way.

Why Is Digital Wellbeing Important?

Digital wellbeing is crucially important for a number of different ways - far too many to list down in one article, or to cover in one paragraph. Below, we outline a few of the key areas where the importance of digital wellness and wellbeing is most clearly exemplified.

1. Digital Devices and Mental Health:

Spending too much time on digital devices is something that all of us can relate to. The weekly screen time updates can sometimes be surprising, and all of this time glued to our devices can have a negative impact on our mental health.

Studies have shown that excessive social media use can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness (1). It can also interfere with our sleep patterns, which can lead to other health problems such as obesity and cardiovascular disease (2).

2. Digital Wellbeing and Maintaining Healthy Relationships:

Despite technology’s amazing ability to connect us to our loved ones, somewhat paradoxically, managing its usage is crucial for maintaining healthy relationships with those closest to us.

Spending too much time on digital devices can distract us from our loved ones and prevent us from building meaningful connections with them. It can also lead to misunderstandings and miscommunication, which can strain relationships.

3. Digital Wellbeing and Productivity:

You may have noticed that there are a lot of paradoxes at play here - whilst technology has the potential to unlock our full productive potential, it’s important to ensure that we are mindful when using it to get the most out of it.

For example, when we are constantly distracted by digital technology, we are naturally less able to focus on our work and achieve our goals. This can lead to stress and burnout, which can further affect mental health, leading to a vicious cycle.

Digital technology has become an essential tool in many aspects of our lives, and work and education is no exception, so being able to use it effectively and responsibly is critical.

4. The Importance of Digital Wellbeing For Children:

For children, digital wellbeing is particularly important because they are growing up in a world where technology is an integral part of their lives, and in many ways they could be forgiven for being unable to imagine a world without smartphones, fiberoptic broadband, and instant messaging.

Despite this, we humans haven’t changed all that much in the last 20 years, and children still need the same things: a strong social life, a healthy brain & body, and a good night’s sleep.

Screen time can interfere with their physical and mental development, affect their sleep patterns, and impact their social skills so it is essential to teach children healthy digital habits from an early age to help them develop the skills they need to thrive in a digital world.

How To Teach Your Children About Digital Wellbeing:

Teaching your children about digital wellbeing is essential in today's digital age, and it’s a lot easier than you would think. Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Set clear rules and boundaries:

Set clear rules and boundaries: Establish clear rules and boundaries around screen time and digital use.

This could include setting limits on the amount of time your child spends on their devices, or establishing device-free times, such as during mealtimes or before bedtime.

2. Model healthy digital habits:

Children learn by example, so it's important to practice what you preach and model healthy digital habits yourself.

This means being mindful of your own usage, setting boundaries around screen time, and sticking to them. This will have the double benefit of improving your own relationship with technology, as well as setting your child up for success.

3.Talk about the risks and benefits of technology:

Help your children understand the potential risks and benefits of technology and have open conversations regularly.

Discuss the positive aspects of technology, such as its ability to connect people, provide educational opportunities, and just have a good laugh. But it’s important to balance this out by talking about the negative aspects, such as cyberbullying, online grooming, and the potential for addiction and other negative health outcomes.

4. Encourage physical activity and outdoor play:

Most importantly, encourage your child to get out, exercise, play in the park, or engage in any other physical activity.

This can really help counterbalance and soften the effects created by the sedentary nature of digital technology.


Digital wellbeing is essential in today's digital age. It involves managing our use of digital technology, being mindful of the potential negative effects of technology on our mental and physical health, and taking steps to minimize those effects.

For children, teaching healthy digital habits from an early age is particularly important to help them thrive in a digital world.

By being mindful of our digital use, setting healthy boundaries around screen time, and fostering open communication, we can improve our mental and physical health, build meaningful relationships, and achieve our goals.


Twenge, J. M., Joiner, T. E., Rogers, M. L., & Martin, G. N. (2018). Increases in depressive symptoms, suicide-related outcomes, and suicide rates among US adolescents after 2010 and links to increased new media screen time. Clinical Psychological Science, 6(1), 3-17. Link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2167702617723376 

Hale, L., & Guan, S. (2015). Screen time and sleep among school-aged children and adolescents: A systematic literature review. Sleep medicine reviews, 21, 50-58. Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1087079214000811

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