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How to use the 5:2 diet concept to treat your family’s technology addiction



Gadget addiction

Does it immensely worry you when you see almost every family member of yours glued to his or her gadget screen? Technologies such as smart phones and tablet PCs are certainly a boon, but they are also becoming a dangerous nuisance. If you observe on roads, most of the people walk texting or talking on their phones. As soon as your kids enter the home they grab their iPads, tablets, smart phones and laptops and leave behind the actual world because they are so engrossed in the virtual one.

This isn’t just unhealthy for their minds and bodies, it is also changing, for the worse, our social dynamics. People, although more connected, feel less connected. Constant interaction has taken the depth out of what interaction actually means. Instead of family time, people have gadgets time. Instead of talking to each other, people talk through their devices. Children and young adults are developing attention deficiency syndrome because they’re always multitasking on their gadgets. This is a dangerous social phenomena that needs to be curbed at the earliest.

In the book “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains” the author Nicholas Carr highlights the state of shallowness we are achieving due to constant distraction and use of computer and mobile screens.

Emma Cook in this Guardian article suggests a 5:2 diet concept to deal with this problem. It is not going to work wonders, but it can definitely be a good start, or at least, better than nothing. She was worried about the way her three kids, and also herself, are constantly lost in their own world of gadgets. According to the 5:2 concept, she suggests, and is also implementing, that every two days in the week, you hide all your gadgets. It’s a total blackout and it needs to be followed strictly. For the selected two days, there are no iPads, no tablet PCs, no smart phones, nothing. No matter how strong the craving is, you cannot use your mobile devices.

Does it work?

The author has experienced some degree of success. Perseverance and discipline are the key. The blackout must be complete. It shouldn’t be like, just check your e-mail or text messages but no Facetime. You also personally need to set an example. You cannot force your kids to give up their gadgets while you are happily using yours.

Another crucial thing is, you need to substitute your use of gadgets with lots of activity, good, entertaining activity. For instance, the first day when she takes away gadgets from her kids, she takes them to see The Great Gatsby. Of course you cannot always indulge yourself in different activities just to escape from one particular activity, but this can be a good start.