12 Steps to Relieve Internet Addiction and Digital Depression

Are you one of the millions of Americans who depend heavily on your laptop or cell phone to get you through the day? Do you come home from work and instead of spending quality time with friends, exercising or doing chores you find yourself logging on to your Facebook or Twitter account? Do you incessantly check your email, the weather report or the news hoping something exciting will snap you out of feeling bored with your life? Do you feel lost without some sort of digital device that can dole out information in less than a few seconds when you have a burning curiosity about something?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, a digital detox plan might be the best gift you can give yourself this year.

Read these steps, tips and guidelines designed to help you dismiss digital depression. When you are finished reading, shut down your computer, turn off your Smartphone, completely unplug, and give yourself a well-deserved break.

1. Set aside at least three consecutive hours in each day to be completely cell phone free.

2. Do not multi-task. That means avoid talking on the phone, checking your email and sending Tweets all at the same time.

3. Read the newspaper, a magazine or a good book with your morning cup of coffee.

4. Run your errands, workout or finish your chores before getting on Facebook.

5. Call a friend or write an actual letter on tangible paper with a real pen instead of texting or emailing.

6. Take a digital fast at least one full day out of each week. That means no phone, computer, iPod or television. Can you do it?

7. Talk to your friends, spouse or partner in person about things you noticed while you were away from your virtual world.

8. Exercise outdoors without your iPod and tune in to the sounds around you.

9. Leave your cell phone in the car while grocery shopping.

10. Do not use any digital device while eating a meal.

11. Turn your computer completely off instead of putting it in sleep or standby mode.

12. If you have a laptop, store it out of view or in another room so when you are finished using it, you won’t feel like there is still work that needs to be done. Out of sight, out of mind.

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