Self-discipline and accountability are important virtues in democracy. All too often, they fall by the wayside when we interact online. What begins as a chance to check the latest news leads to clicking link after link.
Setting a timer is an easy way to make sure you don't spend too much time staring at a screen or allow a chat conversation to take over your day. You can also choose to limit your browsing to a certain number of websites or decide to engage with only one person. After the allotted access ends, put your device down or turn it off. As you turn off your device, say to yourself: "I've had all the time with this that I needed."
Remember, too, that even though a democracy counts on its citizens to be aware and engaged, activism can wear you down. If your emotions are stirring about something you witness online, give yourself a timeout from the issue for a few hours or even days. You may want to curtail or stop interacting online during a certain period of the year, such as Lent, Ramadan, or over the summer. Or you may choose to delete a social media account in favor of in-person relationships. Find what works for you as a timeout — to pray, meditate, ground yourself, or relax -- before re-entering spaces of online civic participation.

Kristin Ritzau in Practicing Democracy Online