The Importance of Digital Dieting

Not all time spent on the net is healthy.

There are thousands of fitness programs, gyms, and personal trainers out there that work solely for one purpose: keeping your body healthy. Unfortunately, there haven’t been any services created (at least to my knowledge) on how to manage the Internet and specifically mobile, bingeing. There have been some startling statistics on the amount time we are all exposed to digital media during our daily activities.

1. Let’s talk and interact.

It has become increasingly common for most social gatherings in life to consist of people talking to each other while simultaneously having their phones in their hands. I never noticed this small little fact until I spent a day without my phone. I could not help but, be slightly irritated when I would speak with my friends and they would constantly check every notification they had. It became increasingly more apparent that this was an issue when I worked retail and saw that one of the employee rules was not to take out your phone while behind the counter. It slowly dawned on me that perhaps a lot of people were not monitoring the amount of time they spent on the internet (it doesn’t show any immediate side effects when you are using it). Speaking from my personal experience, I have learned that  both professionally and socially, it is rude not to engage with who you’re talking with in any situation. Part of digital dieting is learning how to support some level of self-control when interacting with others in the non-virtual world.

2. The Internet is a tool.

I recently had an engaging conversation with a new acquaintance of mine about what are some the most important subjects the urban youth in New York has to learn. I mentioned digital dieting to him, and we spent a considerable amount of time discussing our views on social media and video streaming platforms (what happens to most of us when running through a rabbit hole of videos and posts). There is a vast amount of articles everyone has access to that is just waiting to be absorbed. As opposed to just scrolling through “memes” and photos of your old friends, subscribe to magazines and news articles. I am in no way promoting that you deactivate any of your social media accounts; I am only suggesting an alternative to your regular digital routine. Consider how you will utilize your time before interacting with your phone the next time you begin that initial interaction with it.

3. Give yourself time to enjoy your surroundings.

There are so many moments that we miss daily because our necks are spent bent down looking at screens. I have been a victim of this for some time now. There are so many beautiful things that occur while I am walking through Central Park or Brooklyn and I miss them because I am tweeting about my walks. Mobile phones have certainly helped countless people and industries; all I am suggesting is that we become more aware of our usage of the Internet. Perhaps this may seem a little extreme but as an experiment leave your phone home for a day. It will show you how dependent we have become on our little tiny pocket boxes.

Time is your most precious commodity, and you need to maximize all the time you have, especially when using the internet.

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