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Library Wellbeing Guide

Digital Wellbeing

Looking after your Digital Wellbeing

As technology becomes more prevalent in our lives we can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the number of notifications we can receive on our personal or work devices. In response to this, many people are now looking for ways to make the devices and apps we use fit into our lives, instead of us feeling controlled by them. We hope you will find the suggestions below helpful in managing your digital wellbeing.

Do Not Disturb

Do Not Disturb door hangers are common place in hotels. Their purpose is to allow guests to inform hotel staff to respect their privacy including indicating that they do not want to make use of housekeeping. The Do Not Disturb terminology has now become ubiquitous in the settings area of our devices allowing us to block or control incoming notifications, announcements and calls. Below, you will find advice on how to make use of this feature on several different devices.  

woman holding an iphone

Windows

Focus assist allows you to choose which notifications you see. You can have Focus assist turned off and get every notification from your apps and contacts; or you can select priority only to receive notifications from a customised priority list; or you can hide all notifications except for alarms. You can also go to the Notifications & actions settings page to personalise notifications even further.

MacOS

There are a number of settings on a Mac to configure notifications. Turning on Do Not Disturb allows you to stop notifications altogether or just for a specified time range. You can also stop notifications when you're projecting the screen.

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Android

Android also allows you to silence your device with Do Not Disturb. This can be quickly turned on by swiping down from the top of your screen and then tap Do Not Disturb. You also set time rules to automatically turn on Do Not Disturb at certain times.

iOS

You can turn on Do Not Disturb on iPhones and iPads by going to settings and going to the Control Center. Both options allow you create a schedule if you don’t want to receive any notifications and be disturbed at a certain time

Digital Wellbeing Course

If you are interested in the impact of technology on your life and would like to learn more, why not take part in the University of York's Digital Wellbeing course? This is a free online course, open to all. You can join at any time and learn at your own pace. 

You will investigate new and established technologies and their impact on society, looking at the positives and negatives of engaging with technology.

You will also learn how to ensure your own digital wellbeing, exploring how to balance online and offline activities, how to stay safe physically and virtually, and look at strategies for dealing with information overload and creating a positive digital identity.

For more information, and to sign up, please follow the link to Futurelearn.

Further reading

Below are some articles and reports that you may find useful when thinking about how you engage with social media and technology.