Folks I’ve wanted to make this post for SO LONG! It feels great to finally make the space to share this concept with you because I want you to get involved too! I’ve had the idea for a digital banner for us to unite under, one that promotes better communication and helps us manage folks expectations. Read on, share the link and hashtag and join a new way of showing up online!
Boundaries are something that come into allot of the work I do; promoting folks to set boundaries for a better Winter during Winter’s Embrace, or create new boundaries to get their life more on track through Labyrinth Life Coaching, or passing on suggestions that arise from tarot readings. Boundaries are often how we create or maintain change in our lives, but don’t you think the online areas of our lives often get left out?
So what’s the concept? SLOW DIGITAL ADVOCATE! I’m sure nearly everyone who reads this has at some point experienced either someone demanding an answer or reply online, or has felt that nagging feeling that it’s been ages since someone contacted you online so you really must reply, but then you realise it was only this morning/yesterday/2 days etc since they got in touch.
As our means of communication have sped up, so has the expected speed of response. Don’t get me wrong, there are of course, certain roles, jobs, times when it’s right to expect of folks to be online and ready to respond to you quickly, but is that really the case for most of us, most of the time?
My work is to help folks re-connect to nature and themselves as a part of nature, and all too often the digital world gets in the way. How can we expect to make meaningful connection to the world around us when our mind/emotions are scattered by the barrage of information and calls on our attention. How can we truly sit with ourselves and connect deeply when our phone is pinging away every few minutes? All I’m asking here is that you make space occasionally with intention to be receptive, not distracted. Turn notifications off occasionally, turn off data, leave your phone behind – whatever feels right for you.
Another facet to this for some people, may be the need for appreciation towards the words we use in digital communication, the tone of how we connect with people, the time spent thinking of the human, personal, friendly, loving, honest, upfront, REAL ways we want to communicate (though maybe not for a pizza order!?).
So what is a Slow Digital Advocate? Someone who not only advocates for slower ways of communicating some of the time, but also someone who isn’t afraid to (where possible), to hold strong boundaries around their digital communication. This might look like creating office hours, turning wifi off beyond a certain time or on a certain day, creating a social media post or email signature that tells people you aren’t always online and that they need to not expect an instant response. These are just some of the ways that I have taken this concept to heart in my own life.
Now that I will be creating a tinyURL from this post, I can add it to my email signatures and social media bios and I have a pithy phrase that sums up my attitude and expectations around digital communication. Now I need YOUR help! If you’re tired of late night messages, harassing emails, paranoid responses to you wanting to take your time or have some real rest, please share the link to this post, the hashtag #SlowDigitalAdvocate (capitalised for added accessibility) or the social media posts and add them to your bios and signatures. Tell the world that you too are a Slow Digital Advocate and let’s start to shift the expectation that we are forever available! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this one. Let me know how this lands and if you plan to share this concept in the comments below or on socials.