Ten Digital Diet Rules to Live By - How to Break your Tech Addiction and Regain Balance in your Life
Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Daniel Sieberg
From THE DIGITAL DIET By Daniel Sieberg
About The Digital Diet: The 4-Step Plan to Break Your Tech Addiction and Regain Balance in Your Life
Have you ever felt that something hasn’t really happened until you post it on Facebook or Twitter? Does a flashing red light on your BlackBerry make your heart flutter? Do you know you shouldn’t be texting and driving—but still do it? If you said “yes” to any of these questions then you’re not alone; you’re among the millions of people who can relate to being overwhelmed by technology. Fear not—from leading technology reporter Daniel Sieberg comes the first self-help book to address America’s newest addiction: THE DIGITAL DIET: The 4-Step Plan to Break Your Tech Addiction and Regain Balance in Your Life (Three Rivers Press; On Sale: May 3, 2011; Trade Paperback Original; $13.00), a four-step, dietary-style approach to help you slim down on everything from gadgets to social networks to video games.
The Digital Diet is a 28-day plan that’s meant to reawaken our awareness of technology in our lives, provide tools and gadgets to improve life, and instill the right motivational/practical formula for managing it in the future. It can be tailored based on age, profession, hobbies, and a person’s particular electronic poison and includes a self-assessment, a detox phase, and a week-by-week guide to building time for technology back into your routine.
1. Avoid tech turds.
Don’t just dump your smart phone on the table at a restaurant or at home. Keep it in your pocket or purse unless it’s critical to have it out. If you must have it out, acknowledge its presence and inform your companions that you’ll check it only in an emergency. It’s a courtesy that you’d appreciate, too.
2. Live your life in the real world.
If you must post a status update or tweet or blog about something in your life, then make sure it’s something you’d be willing to announce to anyone you know face to face.
3. Ask yourself whether you really need that gadget.
There are tons of cool stuff in the techworld, and some of it might even improve youror your family’s life, but don’t feel compelled tobuy every new toy that comes out. Before youmake a digital purchase, question its necessity.
4. Seek tech support.
Navigating the wilds of the wired world can sometimes be too much to handle alone. It’s okay to ask for help and it’s also okay to use technology to help “outsource self control” when needed. Check out the many programs that can assist with budgeting your time online.
5. Detox Regularly.
Once you’ve completed the Digital Diet, return to the detox phase one day a month. You can do this as a family, too. Use that day as a touchstone to remember what life can be like without technology.
6. Sleep device-free.
Move your chargers out of the bedroom to another room in the house, and let your devices live there overnight. They need a break from you, too.
7. It’s either the human or the device.
Work toward choosing people over the device. Yes, there’ll be times when it’s tricky or nearly impossible to choose between your smart phone or laptop and paying attention to your child or your loved one or your friend, but try to use your devices more on your own time rather than during the time you share with others.
8. Remember the “if /then” principle.
Choices that you make in the virtual world can have an impact in the real one. For example, if you don’t find the time to put down the gadgets and log out once in a while, then you might lose the ability to appreciate the finer moments in life.
9. Structure your e-day.
Work toward a finite beginning and end to your connectedness. In other words, dive into the gadgets and the e-mail and the texts only when you’ve composed yourself in the morning. When you’re ready to unplug in the evening, do it without reservation and focus on what—and who—is immediately around you.
10. Trust your instincts.
If you think you might be spending too much time being a voyeur on social networks or playing online games or endlessly texting, then you probably are. That little voice knows when it’s all become too much. Listen to it. Pursue the ultimate goal of balance and awareness.
For much more information about Daniel Sieberg and The Digital Diet: The 4-Step Plan to Break Your Tech Addiction and Regain Balance in Your Life visit http://www.danielsieberg.com/.
For your own copy, visit http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Diet-4-step-addiction-balance/dp/0307887383 (print) and http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Diet-addiction-balance-ebook/dp/B004J4WM3G (Kindle)
About the author
Daniel Sieberg is an Emmy®-nominated reporter who hosts Tech This Out! for ABC News NOW. He has also covered science, environment, space and technology stories for CBS News, CNN, PBS, NPR, BBC News, Planet Green, MSNBC, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Oprah.com, Details, Time, The Vancouver Sun, CTV News, CleanSkies.TV, Fuse.TV, The Nate Berkus Show and The Dr. Oz Show.