Do you need to go on a digital diet?

I was flipping through an issue of House Beautiful this summer and stopped dead in my tracks when I saw an entire page devoted to taking a "digital time out." Among other things, it mentions Daniel Sieberg's book The Digital Diet. Sounded interesting. Not knowing if I wanted to buy it, I looked for the title in the library catalog. No matches. Found it on Amazon, but there were only 4 customer reviews that didn't entice me to buy a copy. According to Amazon, this book is frequently bought with Cyber Junkie. Since the Mophead boys are currently infatuated with Minecraft (for only 30 minutes a day -- except for when I get distracted while on my own device), I thought the title was worth investigating. Checked the library again. Nope. But here are some titles it pulled up:

Cyberpunk: Outlaws and hackers on the computer frontier
Cyber Terror
Cyber Terrorism

Frightening, I know.

I haven't read The Digital Diet, so I can't offer my thoughts. You can read Sieber's article in The Washington Post where he outlines his 4-step plan to break your tech addiction and regain balance in your life. Or you can check out his YouTube video.

So, how do you know if you need to go on a digital diet? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Q: Do you ever feel the urge to pull out your smartphone while someone else is making a point in a conversation?
Q: Have you ever realized that you were texting or checking your e-mail while your child was telling you about her day at school?
Q: Have you ever felt that something hasn’t really happened until you post it on Facebook?
Q: Are you spending time with your spouse or significant other without talking to each other because you’re each immersed in a different device?

If you think you might be addicted to social media, take this test:


This all got me thinking about something I read in the February issue of Vanity Fair. Editor Graydon Carter grossly generalizes people into three groups:
1.Those who like to record and share every aspect of their lives no matter how inconsequential.
2.Those who live lives that are actually worth recording, but don't.
3. The vast sweep of humanity who neither record their lives nor live ones worth recording. 
In the digital age, we have access to technology to record and share every facet of our daily lives -- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Prolific recorders, according to Carter, tend to be oversharers. I tend to agree.

Food for thought: Is all the time taken to record and share details of our daily lives time taken away from the stuff that really matters?

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