Look up!

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Photo by Jázon Kováts on Unsplash

This past weekend, a couple of friends and I went to Nuit Blanche to see the art installations downtown Toronto, and in the process, we had a reality check about being.

As we strolled through downtown, a friend says, “I never look up.”

At that statement, we all look up, observing buildings and structures we have never noticed before that moment.

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The joy of missing out

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Photo by Irina on Unsplash

A while back, I was at a nightclub slightly drunk and perfectly content to be in an establishment that encourages bad decisions when I experienced the joy of missing out.

My favorite songs blasted out of the speakers at deafening levels while bodies pushed against one another and drinks were spilled at an alarming rate.

At some point, between dancing and feeling good, I noticed some people on their phones scrolling through pictures and watching videos.

A thought occurred to me.

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I would hate to be bombarded with information about what other people, most of whom I have probably never even met, were doing with their Saturday night while I’m in the middle of enjoying my evening.

I imagined watching my Snapchat feed, or Instagram story, of people who might have been dressed better, surrounded by more people, or doing anything else that indicated they were having a better time than I was.

I was instantly grateful to not have access to that. I enjoyed my night as it was, without comparison or feeling I missed out on something better, something more, somewhere else.

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Cultivating high-quality alternatives to digital distractions

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Once upon a time, a high school student tells a group of her peers and adults that she has deleted all her social media accounts for an unspecified period of time. She explains that she is spending too much time on social media, comparing herself to people online.

Everyone nods in agreement relating to the side-effects she listed for her decision.

‘What do you do instead?!’ one peer asks, ludicrously.

We all laugh.

Most of us turn to our digital devices often because the alternative sucks.

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#Textiety: Is texting culture giving us anxiety?

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Photo by Eirik Solheim on Unsplash

Although I didn’t feel I was entirely alone in suffering from texting anxiety, I didn’t think the problem was relevant enough to grant clinical terms, such as textiety and textaphrenia.

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Text messaging is an essential part of communication that is a quick and convenient method to stay connected with our friends, family, and acquaintances.

Despite being a useful mode of communication, the expectation to be reachable and responsive 24/7, literally, can be very stressful and overwhelming to some. Textiety refers to the anxious feeling one gets from not receiving or sending text messages.

Mental health professionals are starting to see anxiety around texting show up in their practice, and it is now part of a new area of research and treatment related to mobile devices and online communication.

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Social media and mental health

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Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

It has become apparent that we can no longer talk about mental health without also mentioning how our increasing addiction to technology, digital devices, and various online platforms can negatively impact our mental well-being.

Increasingly, studies show the negative effects of social media on our mental health and mental well-being [1]. 

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According to a report by Homewood Health, the more time a person spends on social media sites, the more likely they are to suffer from a host of mental health issues. What was more alerting was that such link between social media use and mental health issues was more pronounced for children and teens [4].

Another study also found an increase in teen depression corresponded with technology use, which some are referring to as Facebook depression.


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