Digital media consumption is growing like uncontrolled weeds. Some love it. Others have a love/hate relationship with the constant urge to “go online.”
Facebook, Twitter, emails, blogs, news and entertainment websites demand mind share. We time-shift to handle the load. We create lives of bits, bytes and electronic screens.
Digital media mesmerizes our minds, scatters our thoughts and may affect our sanity. We enjoy it less as we consume more. One study from Australia claims that teens suffer from Internet depression due to overuse.
Facebook alone may have over one billion users by the end of 2011, especially if the great Internet Wall of China collapses allowing access to the social network site. The Japanese can’t stay away from Twitter. Email usage is up. Time spent consuming digital media on mobile devices has rocketed into the stratosphere. Is it any wonder many experience digital media over-consumption?
So how do you consume less and enjoy it more? How can you, your family and friends use electronic communication channels in business and during off-time without becoming overwhelmed? Here are suggestions from people who have successfully controlled digital media in their lives:
- Tell your friends and family you’re off-line for the weekend
- Don’t use your computer on the weekend. In fact, some suggest unplugging your home router unless necessary for work and entertainment purposes and devices, like your Roku Video player.
- Have a smartphone with Web access? Turn off email and your data connection.
- Avoid email intrusion. As I write this blog post, I hear email alerts on my Mac and my Android phone. Ignore them and stop trying to multi-task.
- When using digital media and devices, focus on one activity at a time. Use social networks for a limited time. And change your mobile phone’s retrieval setting to four hours or longer. You’ll write and respond to your friends’ communications better with a clear mind
- Keep human interactions separate from digital interactions. You’ll listen and enjoy human conversations more if you computer or phone isn’t competing.
Think you can do it? Yes, you can if you control technology in your life. Admittedly, it’s harder at work, especially if your job requires multi-tasking. However, multi-tasking doesn’t mean switching your attention every two minutes. Pace yourself like a long-distance runner.
Take a break from digital media…and remain sane.
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