You’d be hard-pressed to find someone at the start of the year who hasn’t thought about the healthy habits they want to develop.
It’s often easier said than done, and it might be that you put it off because you struggle to know how to tackle forming a new routine, when it can be too tempting, especially during winter, to sit in front of a screen and sink into your sofa.
But what if those new years resolutions didn’t need to be so resolute after all?
How to Create Healthy Tech Habits
Technology in the last decade has become an increasingly pervasive presence in people’s lives. During this technological revolution, many authors have made the focus of their writing about helping people give up their screens to pursue a more fulfilling lifestyle in ‘the real world’.
Technology can be an invasive force, so we have to learn the techniques and skills to cope in a world saturated in digital media.
Jonathan Orden’s guide: Internet Addiction: How To Stop Wasting Your Time In Front Of Your Computer And Start To Live A More Fulfilled Life in The Real World is just one example. The goal of the book is to give readers guidance and tools on living peacefully, away from their digital devices. However a collection of more tech-friendly reads have been emerging both towards the end and the start of the new decade, which acknowledge the presence of technology while advising people how to co-exist with it harmoniously.
B. J. Fogg’s new book Tiny Habits aims to help people formulate habits by following some simple steps. Firstly you have to find a behaviour you want to adopt, such as reading an educational article instead of scrolling endlessly through social media or walk four stops to get some air rather than sitting on the bus in traffic looking at your phone. He explains that the behaviour is more likely to be taken up if it comes after an action in your usual routine.
A point that Fogg is keen to make is that people don’t have to give up technology completely. He says that if people share their experiences and newly developed habits via social media, for example, this can help motivate communities to become healthier.
"Civilisation advances by extending the number of operations we can perform without thinking about them.”
In contrast, late in the previous decade (2018), James Clear wrote in his book Atomic Habits, that the best way to change a habit was to automate it, so you don’t have to think about it anymore. He explains handing daily habits over to technology allows us to free up time for carrying out tasks that machines are not yet able to do, further explaining this will enable humanity to progress. He quotes the mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead who said, “civilisation advances by extending the number of operations we can perform without thinking about them.”
To apply this thinking to how people use Candide, there are certain features within the app that have been created with the aim of efficiently giving gardeners tools and knowledge so they can spend more time doing what they love.
Our sister app Candide Labels allows you to label up plants in your home using virtual reality so you won’t forget its name or care needs, saving enormous amounts of time.
In the ‘Places’ section, the app tells you about all the garden-related events happening near you, saving you the time of scrolling through the internet and also helping you engage in activities away from your screen.
Clear does make the point that there can be a downside to this automation. He mentions the risk of technology creating over-convenience. But according to Tchiki Davis in Outsmart Your Smartphone: Conscious Tech Habits for Finding Happiness, Balance, and Connection, technology is not inherently good or bad. People simply need to develop healthy habits while using it.
She says that smartphones can, “provide support, inspiration and opportunities for social connection” and using technology healthily is about positively changing your mindset and attitude towards it.
So before throwing your phone out of the window, take some time to contemplate the negative tech traits you might have and think about automation to save time or tech which might be able to connect you to more mindful activities like gardening (... it would have been mad not to plug ourselves there!).
Read our gardening articles and editorial here before throwing your gardening gloves on.