I need to go on a diet, a technology diet. I say this as I sit on the couch with my lap top, phone directly to my left, T.V. on in front of me, sporting what I assume is the glazed over expression of someone who has been staring at a screen for hours. It’s counter-intuitive to suggest this considering that I am a writer and thus require time spent on the computer to write, maintain a social media platform, read blogs, or research, but I can at least cut the proverbial fat around all of the extra time checking my phone for email, Facebook and Twitter updates, new Pinterest boards, the weather, etc. There is no reason to check the weather every 5 minutes, or email for that matter, but I do.
Why do I feel the need to use technology so much? Is it a security blanket? Have I forgotten how to be alone with my thoughts or how to sit and have a conversation with someone where I am looking at them and not at my phone? This type of diet is not a novel idea, in fact there was a book written in 2011 by Daniel Sieberg called, The Digital Diet, where he outlines a 4-step process to break the cycle of addiction to technology. This is why we may want to pick up that book:
Where do you find yourself in this chart?
If you are anything like me, you are surprised, ashamed, and ready to admit that you have a problem. Congratulations, that is the first step! What do we do next? Go on a D.I.E.T.
D- Decrease you time gradually. Going cold turkey may work, but let’s be honest, we can’t give up electronics completely, how else will we know what’s going on in the lives of people that we barely know?
I- Interests, find some. Go on a bike ride, read a book, go to a mall and make fun of those kids who are on leashes. Just stay away from the technology!
E- Equip yourself with rules. For example: no electronics when you are eating dinner, or when you are supposed to watching your kids at the playground, or when you are walking.
T- Team work. Of course these plans will be unique to the dieter, but once you make it, share it with a “diet partner” who will hold you accountable.
Take the D.I.E.T approach to your electronics addiction and watch the pounds melt away. Okay, not really, but you will still be proud of your mental strength and slimmer chance of straining your eyes. Good luck!