28 days of no gadgets. Can you do the Digital Diet?

Almost everyone these days, including children, are on some sort of social networking site or playing video games throughout the day. When most kids come home from school they go straight on to their Xbox or iPhones, while parents are on their BlackBerries or laptops.

Because so many people are always starring at computer monitors or small screens, most people don’t realize the negative, long-term effects these devices have on us.

Have you found yourself on your mobile phone sending an email in the middle of a conversation? Are you constantly distracted while you’re sleeping because your cell phone rings in the middle of the night?

Technology reporter and Tech This Out! host Daniel Sieberg’s novel, The Digital Diet, teaches people of all ages how to manage the amount of time you spend on electronic devices and balance your time on these devices and your life. It may sound tough at first, but it will work if you give it some time.

Just like a food diet, the key to the book is to monitor yourself, not cut yourself off. You need to be in control of these gadgets and not let these gadgets take you over.

In his novel, Sieberg shares his 4-step plan for breaking your addiction to technology and gaining your life back: rethink, reboot, reconnect, and revitalize. Along with the four steps, the book is packed with notable tips and facts.

Sieberg starts us off by telling the readers how technology positively and negatively affected his life. Although Sieberg loves his gadgets, he admits to being addicted to his BlackBerry and laptop.

He talks about his trip to France that ended up being a disaster and his work-related trip to the Bahamas, which is where he had an epiphany that too much technology is the reason why he’s struggling in his social life. Sieberg struggled to get himself to reduce the amount of time he uses devices, but this diet helped him get through his strong addiction.

For the first few days on the diet, you must give up most of your favorite or most-used tech gadgets and focus on what’s around you. Get outside and go for a walk. Call up a friend and go hang out. Just do sometime but stare at a screen.

Throughout the book, Sieberg continues to tell his story, but also gives readers a guide to reviving their social lives with but not an exceeding amount of gadgets and exercises to help those who don’t know where to begin.

Sieberg wants you to “detox” and take a step back to take a second look at technology to realize how much of an effect technology has if you abuse it and what life can be like without or with less of these “distractions.”

For example, Sieberg says for those who bring their cell phones or other gadgets the dinner table, your phone needs to “chill out” in the fridge [literally in the fridge] during dinnertime and only take it out after dessert. Keeping a tech gadget in the fridge won’t damage it, it’ll just be cold when you take it out. He also suggests families start a contest of who can text the least in a month.

The concept is to find a strategy that works for you that will reduce the amount of time you use a gadget or device.

The Digital Diet takes about 28 days to complete, but its up to you to take the challenge and possibly not be able to use any gadgets the whole time, except for times when you are required to use it like at work.

Are you ready to take the challenge? I got my copy of the book today and I already read more half of the book. Tomorrow is my first day on the diet.

The Digital Diet by Daniel Sieberg is available on Amazon.com and at most local bookstores. His book is also available on devices like the Kindle, but it is encouraged to purchase the paperback book since the book is about reducing the amount of gadgets you use.