Today, a world without Digital devices is unimaginable. They have become an extension, of us and digital connectivity is now a most basic human survival need. This in turn has many positive and negative implications. If digital life were a flowchart, it wouldn’t be nice and neat, with square boxes and straight arrows. It would be a mess of thought bubbles filled with dramatic declarations and angst amidst a tangle of wiggly lines, a constant state of confusion and turmoil.
This transition to a more digitalised way of living, studying and working results in risks in the form of increased stress, isolation and exacerbates existing social inequalities. Governments, Employers and all stakeholders need to make sure there are systems in place to maximise the benefits of digitalisation while helping people minimise associated risks.
Overall, one should be aware of unforeseen mental health impacts. One example of an adverse feature to mental health is the endless scroll addition to social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. This has been attributed to internet addiction, which has been correlated with high levels of anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, poor time management and impulsiveness. Educating the public at large, disseminating findings of research and mindful use of technology will help digital wellbeing. Ironically, there are several apps for digital well-being – fighting fire with fire! The pandemic has made being digitally connected, all the more essential, which has led to the New Normal.
A New Normal is a condition to which an economy, society, the world, settles following a crisis, when this differs from the state that existed prior to the start of the crisis. The term has been employed in relation to World War I, financial crisis of 2007–2008, the 2008–2012 global recession, and especially the COVID-19 pandemic.
As observed by El-Erian MA, 2010, it refers to the dramatic economic, cultural and social transformations that caused economic precariousness and social unrest, impacting collective perceptions and individual lifestyles and how it has transformed essential aspects of human life.