HOWTO: Balance Your Media Diet


Here's my contribution to Wired's August issue. Titled "Behave Yourself," the cover package features all kinds of netiquette tips and advice for 21st-century living.

Oh, and I should probably mention Brad Pitt is on the cover, wearing a Bluetooth headset.

illustration for Wired by Jason Lee

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24 Responses to HOWTO: Balance Your Media Diet

  1. echolocate chocolate says:

    Gaming is not entertainment? I think you’re playing the wrong games.

  2. SeppTB says:

    I tend to do 3 or 4 of those at once. How does that factor in on the pyramid? I get 9 hours done in well less than 9 hours!

    Plus I’d agree with Echolocate, 1 hour of games vs 1 hour of watching YouTube? I’ll take the games! Interesting take on the food pyamid though, but I never liked that either.

  3. Steven Leckart says:

    Indeed, there’s a one-size-fits all thing going on. Consider this a baseline. If you want to substitute more meat for potatoes, go ahead!

  4. killdeer says:

    So you contributed the 4 sentences? Seems like Jason Lee did the brunt of the work… unless you told him what to draw? even so, shout outs to Jason Lee

  5. Guy says:

    methinks your pyramid is inverted. but I’d expect that from a news guy.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I will never understand twitter, let alone the idea that at this point you could be figured as spending nearly as much time reading random thoughts as, say, playing Civ IV.

  7. SamSam says:

    Oh my God. So, do you or anyone you know actually have a job (that doesn’t just involve consuming media)?

    How can one possibly justify 9 hours a day of what you yourself refer to as “intake.” When do you ever produce anything? What happened to making?

    I see the article says that Americans spend on average 9 hours in front of a screen, but I’m sure a very large percentage of that is actually at work, doing or creating. Here you turn us all in to vegetable consumers of someone else’s media.

    [Or am I missing a fundamental joke here?]

  8. nezro says:

    I was thinking the same thing. Does anyone actually have 9 hours a day to do these things?

  9. feedingfashionistas says:

    I certainly sit in front of a (rassle-fracking) screen for 10-12 hours per day, but I’d feel pretty awful if it ever strayed away from at least 60% “making”. On a workday, I typically do:

    4-8 hours writing/editing
    2-6 hours music production
    1-2 hours listening to podcasts
    .5 hours internet-based TV/videos
    8 hours intermittent web/blog/news surfing
    (many of these coincide, of course)

    I’m thinking Steven was posing these 9 hours as happening within the average computer-bound tech-obsessed worker’s day, concurrent with work and play. (as that is Wired’s demo, for the most part)

  10. tyen says:

    I thought that Wired looked quite out of place next to NYT and WSJ, but the text below about who paid for it clarified that oddity. 🙂

  11. Anonymous says:

    The math doesn’t work for me. How can you Twit for 45 minutes when you done nothing all day but screw off on teh Internets?

  12. Category says:

    At first I thought this was out of wack – if I did 9 hours consuming as well as my normal work day and creations, I’d NEVER sleep. But I get ALL my blog/news/facebook/twitter time sorted WHILST working, so that only really leaves my gaming and videos.

    Plus,whilst creating things, I make sure I have no internet connection, or I never get ANYTHING done!

  13. TechCombo says:

    Love this post Steven. It demonstrates the typical day for a geek without any work to do or school to go to. Since summer is approaching, I hope to do the same 🙂

  14. Anonymous says:

    My days end up being the opposite of this pyramid

  15. WalterBillington says:

    @2 – you should re-train as a lawyer. they’d love ya.

  16. Anonymous says:

    whelp, i get paid to sit and stare blankly at a monitor with internet access for 40 hours a week and my job demands little actual attention… so i spend a solid 12-14 hours a day consuming media and interacting with people online.

  17. g.deck says:

    It’s upside down.

  18. Ambiguity says:

    I may not be the best person to comment — I don’t own a TV and I don’t game and I don’t “social network” (my consumption comes from web the mostly) — but I find that graphic very, very scary. Sometimes I think I was born on the wrong planet…

  19. spazzm says:

    If I never watch TV or listen to podcasts, can I spend more time on reddit?

  20. Very interesting outlook on the approach to micromanaging time online and on the computer!

  21. TJ S says:


    NO! This is your new schedule. Follow it to the letter, or face punishment.

  22. devophill says:

    So eight hours of podcasts a day is too much? Nuts.

  23. switchblade says:

    only one hour of podcasts???
    that’s insane.
    btw, who still watches TV? that’s caveman media.

  24. I can’t believe the number of comments that take this pyramid seriously! And then they say, “am I missing the joke?” !!


    What a funny one!

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