Increasingly, the digital sphere is starting to resemble an overbearing, intrusive, and endless jungle.
Ever the Tarzan at heart, you may try to make a clear path amongst this jumble of leaves and bugs (far too many bugs) by swinging yourself to safety. However, every vine that glides your way turns out to be a hissier, slimier version of the jungle book snake Kaa, eager to get into your good graces and cosy up to you despite your basic incompatibility (you= human trying to navigate. Kaa=snake trying to betray and eventually eat you).
Just in case the snake metaphor wasn’t obvious enough (or your brains really are glazed over after a long day of digital) the human is you, and the snakes (if you recall, I mentioned many) represent every new website to finally reach the doorstep of their on-line adventure only to start pounding and blasting out their message to everyone in the vicinity.
Not that having a website is a bad thing, of course. I have a website, you most probably have a website, websites are now like having pets (and what would we do without a good puppy or cat, may I ask? ). However, what this means for you, dearest human, is that you are, on a daily basis, being assaulted from all directions with new content. You are now faced with laborious decisions such as: Is this worth a read? Is this good? When do I have time for this? Can this wait until I’ve finished devouring the latest episode of the Mindy Project, a burrito, and a well-earned glass of wine (simultaneously)?
So many questions, with one clear answer. The digital diet. The digital diet is your solo trip to Italy when an awful flatmate becomes unbearable. It is your escape to a quiet lake-side picnic when all the city has to offer is a sub-standard bagel with hard cheese. It is, in short, a beacon of hope.
The digital diet is your solo trip to Italy when an awful flatmate becomes unbearable. It is your escape to a quiet lake-side picnic when all the city has to offer is a sub-standard bagel with hard cheese. It is, in short, a beacon of hope.
You may have started panicking upon reading that. Let me re-assure you. Some weekends ago, I attempted to quit ‘cold turkey’ for an entire weekend (let us take no time to reflect upon how pathetic that sounds. A weekend, in digital terms, is a marathon). One of the things I swiftly noticed is that I did not, in fact, fall to the ground and drop dead. It did not kill me (and we all know, nudge nudge, that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?) Right.
Strange things started happening. But they were strange, good things. I actually began to interact more with the people in my immediate environment (those that know me will, of course, realise that I do this incessantly anyway, so the situation became rather extreme). I didn’t feel at a loss. I felt normal. Perfectly normal. Better than normal, because all those decisions held no weight. I was free!
For me, during that one lovely weekend, going on a digital diet (or, in my case, no digital at all) just meant that I wasted less of my own time. If I was bored, I couldn’t turn to my Quora feed, I couldn’t aimlessly scroll down my Facebook timeline (despite having established long ago that I don’t really care what goes on there), and I certainly couldn’t achieve my daily quota of commenting-on-profile-pictures-of-people-I-barely-know to give them their daily boost. I would have to get up and read, or write, or make myself do something productive because there was no technology, no endless Buzz websites and Youtube babies meet pets videos to distract me.
Going on an information diet is like finally getting rid of all the stuff you’ve been carrying around with you. That stuff could be anything- extra weight, emotional troubles, excess trinkets that you’ve been carrying around since childhood… It’s hard to take the step but you won’t miss it when it’s gone. And I can assure you, Instagram doesn’t change that much in a day.