Our modern world is becoming increasingly digitized, accessed of course through ever fancier devices, gadgets, and gizmos. Yet more and more these devices seem to be depression’s devices as much as anything.
I say this because these devices, like depression itself, have the power to divide. All you have to do is see a group of people looking at their phones instead of interacting with one another to see what I mean. And such a digitized way of living allows us to fiddle with any flaw we perceive, in some cases substantially altering the way we interact with the world.
And as more and more people struggle with the darkness of anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses, too often they turn to the internet, only to find people’s highlight reels. Rather than offering real connection and bonding that can occur through hardship, the smiling world of social media instead further isolates those struggling in the dark.
The solution to this isn’t to throw away all your devices, however. Our digital world offers many advantages, including the ability to stay connected even amid a pandemic. Like any technology, our digital devices can be good or bad depending on how they are used. They can be beneficial for our recovery, or they can continue to be depression’s devices.
For me, I try to balance how I use technology. While I probably waste too much time on my phone, I am pretty strict about not looking at it for an hour or so before I go to sleep. I also try to be mindful about how I use social media and remind myself of the dangers of comparing myself to others. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The important thing is that when depression’s devices have me feeling rundown, I am sure to recharge myself with self-care. After all, you wouldn’t leave your device uncharged, why should it be any different for yourself.
P.S. For more insights into depression and devices and parenting, see what Daddying with Depression has to say about it.