Like most people, I have a nightly routine: shower, dry hair, brush teeth, climb into bed, and check every app that may have sent a notification in the time it took me to get into bed. There’s likely an email from a classmate who missed class and is desperately searching for the notes for tomorrow’s quiz, or a tweet from MacEwanU reminding its students about the Career Fair. I will quickly open my laptop to send an email with the notes, and remember that the blazer I was planning to wear did not make it into the washing machine. A hasty trip to the laundry room later, and a new Facebook message from my boss about this weekend’s event has popped up on my phone.
My nightly routine is not a unique one. Everyone who uses social media to keep up with their work and weekly events knows that the workday is never really over. From the ding of a new email to the chirp of a tweet, our work lives have become longer due to the constant connectedness that social media allows. Although having up-to-the-minute information is incredibly helpful, disconnecting at the end of the day has never been more difficult.
It’s become the expected norm that you should be able to reach a co-worker or a colleague in minutes with a simple text or Facebook message, and vice versa; however, when does our work life overtake our personal lives? The Atlantic’s article, “The Neverending Workday,” points out the fact that “chronically connected workplaces fuel the apprehension that you can never catch up if you leave.” As a university student, that feeling of anxiety when shutting down devices for the night never really goes away. There’s always more to do, to read about, to catch up on, to comment on, and on, and on.
Social media has changed our behaviour in the last decade, often for the better and sometimes for the worst. Learning to close the apps you were using in the workday to recharge during your personal time can be difficult, especially when you live in the world of professional communication. However, making time for yourself every day without the distraction of social media will help you become much more productive in the long haul!
Check out Bustles “6 Healthy Ways to Disconnect From Technology” here for tips to disconnect at the end of your day!