A person taking picture on iphone of a woman. Photo by Josh Rose on Unsplash

Do you constantly take pictures of friends and family rather than enjoying those precious moments? Are you missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime event because you're engrossed in recording it live?

It's time to set some boundaries for your digital communication. It can be difficult at first, but eventually, you’ll be happier and more content with your relationships.

Turn Off Your Notifications

  • If you're constantly bombarded with group chats, Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, and texts...

  • If you feel compelled to reply to every email that hits your inbox...

  • If you find yourself responding back and forth to every single message...

    ...then it's time to turn off your notifications and let go of the need to get in the final word on every message.An iphone with

Rein In Your Availability

A decade ago, if the landline phones rang and you were busy, you didn't pick up, but it's tempting to respond immediately with devices on your wrists and pockets that alert you to new calls, emails, and texts every waking moment.

Set firm restrictions around your availability.

  • Schedule to send emails, texts, etc., early in the day.

  • Consider muting when a family member or friend shares a lot of information.

  • Set availability boundaries by checking communication only during certain times of the day.

  • In extreme situations, turn off your device.

    A woman looking at her cell phone and telling - I'M AVAILABLE

Establish Communication Boundaries

Communication boundaries show respect for yourself and a healthy assertiveness to others.

Sometimes you're flooded with highly charged political conversations in a group chat, or your friend constantly vents their frustrations about their boss. This can take a toll on your mental health.

  • It’s totally okay to limit your communication with friends to your very close friends and set expectations about discussed topics.

  • Separate personal and work-related topics in communications.

2 men talking and the word

Protect Your Privacy

A person seeing through binoculars with facebook logo on the lens. Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

Do you really want friends and relatives to know every particular detail about your life?

Remember that once a message or photo is shared, you have no control over where it goes.

  • Don’t allow photos or posts of you to be posted without your permission, and if someone does post, ask them to remove it if you don't want it out there.

  • Never share location or contact information on your account.

    To protect your privacy settings:

Flaticon IconComputer

  • Open the Start menu

  • Select Settings > Privacy

  • You'll see a list of general privacy options

  • Turn off the ones you don't want

Flaticon IconPhone

  • Open the Settings app on your Phone 

  • Look for the option labeled Privacy, then select it

  • Turn off contacts, calendar, location, camera, and microphone, etc

Check Your Knowledge

A girl sitting on the rug typing on the computer.

Brianna is a popular young girl with lots of friends. Recently, she hasn't been productive at work and finds herself exhausted and tired. What might be causing this?

a) She checks and responds to friends' posts each time she sees one during working hours.

b) She "likes" messages on her phone instantly.

c) She has notifications that keep flashing on-screen during important meetings.

d) She responds to all office emails as soon as they reach her inbox, leaving her no time to think of strategies to address issues.

Quiz

Select the correct options from the quiz above.

a

b

c

d

Check Your Knowledge 2

Nikki's friend shares a risqué photo of her from a bachelorette party that her boss sees. Nikki is now awkwardly explaining this when her boss asks, "How was your weekend?"

A lady talking and the caption - Please explain.

Quiz

What boundaries could Nikki make with her friends to prevent this from happening again?

Politely say no to picture requests

Ask them to not post pictures of her

Untag herself from photos like these

Take Action

A giphy with the flashing words - Communication Expectation Boundaries.

So if you experience anxiety, depression, burnout, stress because of your digital communication with friends, set boundaries by:

License:

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This Byte has been authored by

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Sarita N

Instructional Designer | eLearning Developer