How to Pull Off a Digital Detox

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Yorkers check their smartphones in midtown Manhattan on a cold day in January. (Natalie Fertig/WNYC)

Host and managing editor of WNYC's New Tech City, Manoush Zomorodi gives tips on how to effectively detox from your digital gadgets. Plus, if you must stay plugged in, tactical advice on how to use technology more purposefully.


Manoush Zomorodi

Comments [20]

I'm an avid listener to New Tech City, but Manoush Zomorodi's so called "digital detox" efforts are absurdite. Our digital experiences are not inherently bad. The point is about using them thoughtfully so they help us, rather than hurt is and lead to regret.

Jan. 29 2014 01:14 PM
CC Bloom from NYC

@Elsie + @Michael
I LOVE that we are bringing the spiritual into this convo'.
Tech is spiritless, it's not natural it has no soul! There is no ghost inside the machine.
On the other hand, nature is abundant in spirit and life is what we are on this planet to do.
I found your comment very insensitive.

Jan. 29 2014 12:03 PM

Pull your head out of your digital a$$!!

Jan. 29 2014 12:02 PM
John A

This segment seems so so tone-wrong for achieving the goals it purports to want to.
What works for me:
Wake up, go directly to an outside walk without using any media, come back, leave the radio off until thoughts are jotted down on paper. Putting the radio on tends to force out many slow- cooked thoughts.
After all of this? WNYC of course.
I'm general, people are expressing too much favor for addictions of all sorts.

Jan. 29 2014 12:01 PM

AMEN, Elsie from Brooklyn!!!

Jan. 29 2014 11:59 AM

Do you REALLY THINK that all of those "FACT: ..." GOP posts were actually posted by Boehner, Cantor, etc. during SOTU? I don't. To cookie cutter, too ready made.

Jan. 29 2014 11:58 AM
Drew from Upstate

Hi guys, great show as always!

I'm listening on to you on my phone and typing this on my laptop. I still take lots of photos with my iphone and post to instagram.

However, I've gone hardcore analog in other realms this year. When I dropped my iphone last year and cracked the screen I still haven't replaced it - that def cut down on my iphonage.

More exciting to me, and many of my friends I've come to learn - is the typewriter! I typed a letter on a friends typewriter late last fall and there was something amazing about it so I've been looking for a typewriter of my own for a couple of months and just this past weekend I found it. I've already typed out and sent off 5 letters and I have an ever-growing list of requests for a letters.

Also, I've got a Polaroid (peel-apart, so the prints are lovely, paper prints, not those plastic ones) and they go into the envelope with the letter.

There are pics on my instagram of the typewriter and the letter: @bkbt

Jan. 29 2014 11:58 AM

"Gee, I have euro kitchen envy AND a technology problem!!"

tee hee…


Jan. 29 2014 11:58 AM
antonio from baySide

The guest IMHO is missing the bigger point..I don't think it's the technology...It's whats behind this...
most of the people seem to have problems are really consumers, not creators...
It's what are there are doing with the tech.

Have a purpose. Build something, do something. Add value.

Jan. 29 2014 11:57 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Spot on Elsie from Brooklyn!

Jan. 29 2014 11:57 AM
Bev from Manhattan

I thought Joe Biden was checking a device during the SOTU last night, but then I saw him put a PEN into his inside jacket pocket -- so I figured he was taking notes. If so, no problem.

Jan. 29 2014 11:57 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

If you think you are going to gain control of your addiction to technology by finding a "mindful" app, you are not only addicted, but delusional.

This is what whatshisname (famous Canadian communications academic) meant by the "medium is the message."

Jan. 29 2014 11:56 AM


Jan. 29 2014 11:56 AM


Jan. 29 2014 11:55 AM

This is a critical issue for many of my psychotherapy clients. Thank you so much for covering it.

Here is a blog on separating from technology and the importance of mindfulness.

There are simple exercises people can use to make changes.

J. Ryan Fuller, Ph.D.

Jan. 29 2014 11:54 AM
Elsie from Brooklyn

Is it possible for Americans to do anything without tying it to some religion or spiritual nonsense? It's embarrassing. Just turn your damn computer and phone off and get a life. And stop spouting spiritual nonsense.

Jan. 29 2014 11:51 AM
Bev from Manhattan

Oh yeah, even though she died long before mobile phones/etc, my mom's sage advice (re: TV, when she said it): It has an on/off button for a reason -- just turn it off!

Jan. 29 2014 11:51 AM
Bev from Manhattan

Folks, PLEASE don't check your phone on the steps out of the subway; wait until you're out on the sidewalk. People pull out their phone on the steps and SLOW DOWN while they're looking at the screen, and holding up everyone behind them. Inconsiderate! So please wait until you hit the sidewalk. Thank you!

Jan. 29 2014 11:49 AM

Brian, there is a very important article by Thomas Edsall in the New York Times this morning regarding a new book on economics and inequality, "Capital in the 21st Century" by Thomas Picketty. Some things that Mr. Obama spoke about in the SOTU, such as raising the minimum wage to $10.10, fit right in with the book's premise that inequality is about labor vs. entrepreneurship world-wide and that capitalism itself promotes inequality that is almost impossible to counter. It turns upside down what Americans have been sold by both the Left and the Right over the last few decades, that somehow you can achieve the "American Dream" if you work hard, and supports current thought by some that the American Dream is now impossible in an economic system that is biased against workers. I would love to hear a segment on this (I know you've had Mr. Edsall on before). I listen to your show every day, Brian, and love it. Thank you for all you do to cover enormous amounts of important issues and bring reasoned debate to the fore.

Jan. 29 2014 10:40 AM

Turn-off the devices when spending precious time with family or friends. They deserve more than your mere /physical/ presence.

Jan. 29 2014 08:21 AM

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