Internet Addiction Prevention Tips

31 Days of Spring-Cleaning: Go on a Digital Diet

Who says you have to stay connected 24/7? Taking some time off to detox from your digital life may be hard, but it could also be good for your health and well-being. While some people use Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media to stay in touch with friends, others can't step away for five minutes without losing their minds. Are you one of them? Daniel Sieberg, author of The Digital Diet, offers up tips on how to break your tech addiction, below.

  • Avoid tech turds — One of our own favorite tech etiquette tips says that, as a rule of thumb, you shouldn't leave your phone out on the table. Sieberg has a more colorful way of saying it, calling these situations "tech turds": "Don't just dump your smartphone 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."

See more tips after the break.

  • 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."
  • It’s either the human or the device — I love this tip, and you should keep it in mind daily: "Work toward choosing people over the device. Yes, there'll be times when it’s tricky or nearly impossible to choose between your smartphone 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."
  • Be in control — Remember that hilarious Portlandia skit where Fred Armisen is freaking out after getting caught in a tech loop? This tip should help you avoid that: "Technology should liberate you, not inundate you. Streamline your intake. It’s about moderation, not elimination. Find the right combination. Ultimately, make technology work for you, not the other way around!"
  • Ask yourself whether you really need that gadget — This is especially helpful for those geeks on a budget, or ones that tend to overspend: "There are tons of cool stuff in the tech world, and some of it might even improve your or your family's life, but don't feel compelled to buy every new toy that comes out. Before you make a digital purchase, question its necessity."
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