“You have to do that for your own sanity”: Digital disconnection as journalists’ coping and preventive strategy in managing work and well-being

Article


Simunjak, M. 2023. “You have to do that for your own sanity”: Digital disconnection as journalists’ coping and preventive strategy in managing work and well-being. Digital Journalism. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2153711
TypeArticle
Title“You have to do that for your own sanity”: Digital disconnection as journalists’ coping and preventive strategy in managing work and well-being
AuthorsSimunjak, M.
Abstract

The article draws on the concept of digital disconnection in unpacking the motives, strategies, and perceived obstacles to effective management of risks associated with digital connectedness among journalists, particularly as these relate to optimisation of work and safeguarding well-being to avoid stress and burnout. Semi-structured interviews with British journalists reveal that their approach to digital connection is ambivalent. They consider the efficient access to information and ease of communication enabled by digital technologies both a resource in work as well as contributing to impaired mental health and job performance. Given the latter, journalists report applying a range of, primarily temporary, disconnection strategies to manage work and well-being. These patterns are similar to those observed among other knowledge workers. However, the study also points to several drivers and obstacles to digital disconnection that seem specific to the industry. These drivers include work in hostile social media environments and embeddedness of smartphones in daily work routines. Role conception, overidentification with work, and the lack of understanding and support from peers and employers regarding the need to disconnect have been identified as common obstacles to managing risks from digital connectedness.

KeywordsBurnout; digital technology; disconnection; journalism; social media; stress; work; well-being
Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
Middlesex University ThemeHealth & Wellbeing
LanguageEnglish
PublisherTaylor and Francis
JournalDigital Journalism
ISSN2167-0811
Electronic2167-082X
Publication dates
Online17 Jan 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited18 Jan 2023
Accepted28 Nov 2022
Output statusIn press
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Copyright Statement

© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2153711
Web of Science identifierWOS:000917835700001
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