Thinking of Going on a Digital Diet? Here's How!

Technology should improve your life...not become your life!
— Billy Cox

Are you finding yourself sitting in front of screens consistently throughout your day? Are you feeling online frustration, or the need to constantly be "connected"? 

Maybe it's time to go on a Digital Detox. 

 Social Networking is a lot of work. All of that swiping, searching, typing, texting, tweeting, winking, liking, loving, browsing, chatting, facetiming. Whew! Then there's replying, getting back to, and commenting that seems to take up countless hours in your day, and because you're so busy keeping up with it all, you forget to look up and connect with those of us that are sitting beside you, sharing a bowl of popcorn at the theater, or holding your drink at the concert that you were "so excited for" while you "quickly respond" to some important email.. No wonder why you want to take a break!

Don't get me wrong, I'm by no means anti-technology, but I do know (from plenty of experience) sometimes it's time to reign it in a little bit, if ya know what I'm talking about. Like when your boyfriend asks you for the third time whether or not you wanted salsa on your eggs and you still have no recollection of him even asking because you can't peel your eyes away from this weird video that your aunt posted of a chicken running around in baby clothes.  

Whether it's work or play that is consuming your "facetime" with technology, that's exactly what it's doing: consuming! "Techneck" is for real, my friends. 

I'm not one to typically condone diets, but this one's different. This diet will help promote joy, liveliness, positivity, creativity, relaxation, and have you feeling lighter and liberated.

First thing's first: Put the device DOWN, and pick your head UP!

Start small by leaving your cell or iPod at home the next few times you take your dog for a walk. Enjoy the sounds, smells and sights around you. Spend actual quality time with your dog; let them be the one to take you for a walk. Check out the clouds or go watch the sunset. 

Connect by disconnecting. 

Next time you go out to eat, lead the charge by having your company stack their phones on top of yours in the middle of the table. Be here, now.

Treat yourself to a massage, sauna session, boutique fitness class, intimate sex with your partner. Studies show that by being so connected via social networking, it can have a numbing reverse effect that can ultimately lead to loneliness.. By reconnecting through touch and physical sensations, we begin to ground back down and can start to fully appreciate what it means to feel supported, alive, and well. Give yourself (and your partner!) some TLC.

Most importantly, do not charge your phone by your bed! I can't stress this one enough.. We're so stimulated during the day, it takes our body a few HOURS to start to wind down and prep for a goodnight's sleep. Rings, dings, vibrations, and bright lights are everything that you don't need when you're trying to get a good night's rest. Plus, no one needs to get a late night or early morning text from their boss- talk about stress! If your initial response to this is, "but I use my phone for my alarm clock", I can guarantee that you can go to your local thrift store and find some super mod alarm clock for $2.99. Don't short yourself that much needed, undisturbed rest.

  Photo Courtesy of Tom Attwater

Photo Courtesy of Tom Attwater

If you're in need of a full-blown, kick ya in the pants, slap ya in the face, wake up call: clear your weekend schedule for a day and a half, throw your tent and sleeping bag in the trunk, and get out of dodge! Just by displacing yourself from your busy routine for 24 hours can help you recenter. Besides, who doesn't love waking up to a view like this?!

It's like browsing in real life!

By using technology for what it is: a tool, instead of letting it take control of our day-to-day world, we are able to better appreciate the finer things and people in our life, love better, and experience more! 

Good luck with your Digital Diet and know that if you're ever feeling too disconnected while you're out living your life and making stories with friends and loved ones, reprieve is just a couple clicks away!