Digital Diet Book Using the Wrong Assessment

The author of a new book “The Digital Diet,” agrees with many of the things I said in my 2009 book “Conquer CyberOverload.” Former science and technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg agrees that many people find it hard to break free from the digital distractions that hinder their lives.  However, I disagree with the Quiz he gives in his article in the Washington Post to help people decided whether they need to go on a Digital Diet.  Called “The Virtual Weight Index,” it assesses how many gadgets you own and how many accounts you subscribe to.  But it’s not how much technology is available to you, it’s how you use that technology.  It’s not about the gadgets you own, but whether your gadgets own you.  Do they control your life or enhance it? If they interfere, you need to work out strategies to reclaim the upper hand.  I’m not sure the “diet analogy” is felicitous either. Most people feel hungrier when they diet.  How about a plan that involves something analogous to healthy eating, an enjoyable exercise program, and developing fun hobbies that don’t involve eating?

2 Responses to Digital Diet Book Using the Wrong Assessment
  1. Heather Remer
    December 12, 2011 | 2:06 pm

    Dr. Cantor,
    I have to agree. As you describe it, I think that this assessment would condemn just about everyone in the information technology industry as “digitally overweight” and I would strongly disagree with that concept. While I agree that we really need to be much more attentive to our digital use habits, I also believe that there are many people out there with numerous accounts and gadgets that consciously and responsibly use them, and not to excess.

    • Joanne
      December 12, 2011 | 2:39 pm

      Well said! Thanks!

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