Digital Wanderlust: Staying Safe and Sustainable Online

I invite you to close your eyes and travel back in your mind to the last time you remember wandering.

Where did you wander?

How did you feel?

Some of my favorite places to wander are museums and library exhibits. I find a deep sense of calm joy looking through archives and pages for information. When looking through a library, I can see the physical shelves that hold archives of information. I know the information has been librarian-approved. I can see the walls, and I know that even though there is a lot of information to be found, I have to stop when I hit a wall.

Now imagine the same information and how ­­it’s presented online. Information overload occurs when people are exposed to too much information to process at any given moment. An abundance of available information online can make a quick quest to the internet feel more like climbing Mount Everest.

Online environments and social media apps cater to what is known as the attention economy. In this view, human attention is a valuable resource and scarce commodity. We pay for information and advertisements with our time and attention. Many digital environments are designed with hooks that cater to those of us humans who are prone to wanderlust. Intimidating places are still great to explore, but better to prepare the experience more enjoyable.

Where do the potential dangers lie in your technology interactions?

The same potential for the wanderlust of information exists online, but navigation requires a different set of tools. Digital Wellness is a lifestyle that integrates body, mind, and spirit to promote optimal health and well-being within the human, natural, and digital communities.

When traveling in digital spaces, we can use digital wellness to develop our knowledge and skills to experience a sense of digital wanderlust. Digital Wanderlust refers to the desire to safely and sustainably explore online environments.

How can you prepare yourself and your community to flourish while using technology, despite these dangers?

By simply recognizing that there will be dangers and learning how to prepare and react, we can move our lives from a feeling of digital overwhelm to a sense of digital wanderlust.

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