This is not your father’s digital world. I grew up with Atari and Commodore 64. I played a handheld football game that consisted of tiny red dots blipping across the screen. I once held the high score on Asteroids at the bowling alley arcade! I ruled the digital world of yesteryear!!! So, what happened? Did I lose my electronic hipness?

I don’t think so (or at least I refuse to admit it.) I’m the master of my digital domain. I’ve got this blog, I can work my way through a wiki, I’m connected 24/7 via my Blackberry, I shop almost exclusively online and I’m LinkedIn and Facebooked.

Here’s my problem, I’m starting to feel anxiety about all the virtual places I “need”, “should”, “can” and “want” to visit online. Remember visiting the great amusement parks as a kid? You got through the entrance and there before you was a heart-pounding, eye-widening display of attractions. You were paralyzed with indecision asking yourself – “Where do I start?” That’s how I feel sometimes. To add to the chest-tightening worry, I also grow concerned about what I am missing.

Well, here’s the solution (at least my solution) – Stop the madness. Just like when you order the “bottomless” popcorn bucket at the movies – you have to set limits for yourself. Here are some suggestions (modify as you see fit):

  1. Check email 4 times a day
  2. Subscribe to 4 blogs and 5 podcasts
  3. Read news from 1 online news source
  4. Use a single search engine
  5. Redirect all mail to a single email account
  6. Designate “disconnect” times (kid’s ball game, movies, romantic encounters, funerals, etc.)
  7. Read a book
  8. Don’t multitask (really, don’t)

Got your own suggestions? Let’s hear them.

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