Digital Wellbeing
Being a Great Driver 

  1. Catalogue
  2. Resources
  3. Digital Wellbeing
  4. Understanding Digital Wellbeing
  5. 4: Being a Great Driver

What Will You Learn in This Section?

In this section you will learn:

  • What are helpful and what are harmful behaviours online.
  • What is emotional, physical and social health and how to keep them all well. 
  • Where to seek help if you need to.

Remember - Choices

You are in control of your own behaviour. You have choices, and you decide the road you are going to travel down.

But you need to do a few things to look after yourself and your wellbeing:

  • Regular engine checks. You need to keep your engine in good working order – which means looking after all of your needs. You don't need to do this all at once. But you do need to make sure you meet all your needs through the different activities you do.
  • Controlling your wheels. You control the wheels. If you don't like what they are telling you, it could be a sign that you need to change your behaviours.

Helpful Digital Behaviours

They help you feel good and in control, and they don’t harm the needs of others.

Remember, life is good when:

  • You feel safe and healthy

  • You have good friends and like yourself

  • You feel important and achieve your goals

  • You are free to make choices

  • You are having fun

Do your digital behaviours help you to have a good life?

Harmful Behaviours

Harmful behaviours can be effective at getting what you want, in the short term, but may not meet all of your needs in the longer term.

Behaviours are also harmful if they get you what you want but deny or harm the needs of others.

There are some digital behaviours which are known to be harmful to your physical, emotional or social health.

Let's take a quick look at these before you look at your own digital life.

 

Physical Health

Keeping active, eating well and sleep are important for your physical health and wellbeing.

Potentially harmful behaviours are linked to:

  • Not Enough Physical Activity: If you replace physical activity with digital activity, this can be unhealthy.
  • Unhealthy Eating: If you snack or eat more unhealthy foods when using digital devices.
  • Physical Health Problems: Using technology for a long time can cause physical problems. For example, your eyes could hurt from looking at the screen too long. You might get headaches or blurred vision. Or you might get neck or back pain from poor sitting positions. Some people also find their hands and arms ache from using touchscreens, keyboards and mice.
  • Disrupted Sleep: Screen time before bed can make it harder to get to sleep or shorten the time you are asleep. This is because the bright screen and blue light from devices can cause increased alertness. Activities on such devices can also be stimulating and make you less ready to sleep or keep you absorbed beyond the usual bedtime.

Physical Health: What You Can Do!

  • Keep a Good Balance: Keeping healthy means a good balance of time spent using digital technology with other things. This should include physical activity. 
  • Take Breaks: Take regular breaks, eat well and sleep when you should.
  • Reduce Screen Time Before Bed: It’s a good idea not to use a screen for one hour before bed. This will help you to get to sleep more easily. 

Remember, many games, apps and films are designed to make you want to keep playing, watching or using them. It can be hard to stop, especially when you’re having fun.

If using digital technology stops being fun and is making you tired or your body hurt, this is a warning sign, and you need to do something.

Emotional Health

Good emotional health helps you to communicate and manage your feelings and feel good about yourself.

Potentially harmful behaviours are linked to:

  • Anxiety: Remember, anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear. Increased anxiety can be linked to feelings of missing out while you see others enjoying life online. Sometimes called the ‘fear of missing out’ or ‘FOMO’
  • Self-Esteem and Confidence: Unrealistic expectations of how you need to look may leave you with feelings of self-consciousness and low self-esteem. Other people can also make you self-conscious about your body or you may feel you need to compete to look the best
  • Depression: Bad experiences online, like bullying, can lead to depression if you don’t seek help. If you are depressed, you will often feel low, feel bad about yourself and not want to do things

Emotional Health: What You Can Do!

  • Take a break from digital technology and find something else to do instead: Remember - digital technology is really good at hooking you in and keeping you there. This can pile on the pressure without you even noticing
  • Change Your Thinking: Remind yourself that you are a person of value with lots of different qualities. Remember, most people only present the highlights of their lives. The pictures you see online do not always reflect the way that people look
  • Surround yourself with positive friends and family or do something that makes you feel good: This will change the way you feel and think
  • Use the settings on digital devices and services: For example, you can block content or people who upset you or turn off notifications. This gives you the power to check the apps and services on your terms, at a time that works for you

Social Health

Social health is about having a sense of belonging, tolerance and empathy. Your relationships with family and friends are important.

Potentially harmful behaviours are linked to:

  • Peer Pressure: When friends ask you to do things you don't want to, or feel uncomfortable about, it can be hard to say no
  • Loneliness: If digital friendships replace your offline interactions, it can increase your feelings of loneliness. Especially, if you are already feeling lonely
  • Disagreements: Spending time on digital devices can lead to disagreements or arguments with family or friends

Social Health: What You Can Do!

  • Think about what you would like more of: Time with friends or family? Invite them to visit you or arrange to do something with them. If you’re only socialising online, you should make time for offline relationships
  • Be proactive in resolving issues with friends and family by talking it over directly: For example, discussing reasons for being “left out”

If you are feeling under pressure from friends:

  • Be Assertive: Practise saying 'no' so that it's easier when someone asks. Avoid situations which feel unsafe or uncomfortable
  • Try Not to Judge Them: By respecting their choices, they should respect yours.
  • Spend time with friends who can say 'no': It takes confidence to say no to your friends. You could try seeing how your other friends stand up to peer pressure and you can try this too
  • Suggest Something Else to Do: If you don't feel comfortable doing what your friends are doing, why not suggest something you could do instead

Seeking Help

  • Talk to Someone: Sometimes you will need help from others. Speaking to someone about the problems you're having will make you feel better
  • Talk to your friends: They may have gone through the same thing and have helpful tips they can share with you
  • Talk to your family: They can support you at home
  • Talk to someone at school: They'll have access to guidance and support they can share with you and they'll be impressed that you've taken the initiative and are trying to get help
  • If you don't want to speak to someone you know: you can also call a helpline like Childline

Being a Great Driver Activity

Superstar!

You have reached the end of Section 4, all that remains now is a quick recap before completing your first review in our cool app! Let's recap, you ready?

Yes, Let's Do This!