I'm a loner by nature and I find it extremely easy to get alone time even without 'disconnecting'. My computers stay on, my phones stay on, everything stays on.
-I- am in control. I don't let devices or other people control me. I make the decisions on what to do and when.
I also ride my bike 5-7 days a week, upwards of an hour or more. It's very "liberating" and I mostly think the whole time. I don't bring any tech, just myself and the bike, moving very fast. People cant interrupt you, unless you run over one. ;)
And I am inclined to agree on second thought.
Somehow that doesn't strike me as a behavior pattern of someone fully in control of his web browsing habits.
Nobody says boo about someone who watches 3.86 thirty minute episodes of TV a day, or who writes 3.86 pages of email a day, by the by.
I choose what articles to comment on. There are a LOT more than 4 per day. I choose WHEN to comment on those. I don't have an RSS feed on my phone that alerts me to new stories so I can be first. I post when -I- read the RSS feed and see something worth commenting on.
And I don't like the idea of this thread below this at all. I even think it's very much a part of the problem, not its solution. Of course, it's happening, all the time, people moving from "ugly" and crowded city, somewhere to a "countryside" (yet near the city). And that's why I can't go anywhere outside the city, because there ceased to be any outside, just ring after ring of satelite villages, and roads between them. It had also turned the city into just a little more than a large parking place...
Quote from the introduction
In 2008, the world reaches an invisible but momentous milestone: For the first time in history, more than half its human population, 3.3 billion people, will be living in urban areas. By 2030, this is expected to swell to almost 5 billion. Many of the new urbanites will be poor. Their future, the future of cities in developing countries, the future of humanity itself, all depend very much on decisions made now in preparation for this growth.
(To put up a disclaimer, I have just extrapolating this from what I think. I have not done a significant amount of research. There is a lot science fiction talking about this however, such as Daemon, Freedom TM, and even The Stars My Destination from way back. I also found this article that has some facts, despite being a little old. http://www.innserendipity.com/ruralren/rebound.html)
When I lived in San Diego I had a window office looking out over La Jolla Cove and I found a few times a day using 10 minutes with my door shut, looking at the ocean helped.
The subconscious mind is a powerful problem solver. I believe this is why it is common to wake up in the morning with an unsolved problem, worked out.
Have you read anything about this? I do this all the time with my course work and I thought I was just strange. I can't tell you how many times I have banged my head against the wall with an assignment until I went to bed and then proceeded to get up an hour before it was due and finish it with no problem.
What I found helped was doing the task equivalent of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debt-snowball_method - starting with a list of stuff I wanted to do/improve I did the easiest/fastest things first. This builds confidence quickly and you can start working up to harder tasks - it also keeps you focused on nice short term goals, which reduces how much you worry about the big problems.
Not sure if this helps... good luck.
 I literally had things like "buy new shirt" in the list that were very easy, but we're constantly getting forgotten/put off because of the constant worry about the big problems.
My biggest cause of stress is procrastination. When I put off things I need to do I stress myself out and then start down this path - maybe that's why the todo list thing helped.
It just states pretty obvious facts about the combined effects of new streams of information (mail/rss feeds/twitter/facebook) and new means of accessing those streams (laptops, smartphones) which leads to a growing addiction to frequent checking those streams.
This is not a novel or controversial point. There've been many articles about this effect in the past and there will be many more in the future.
I can observe this addiction in myself, when I pull out my iPhone to check my Twitter during lunch with my coworkers. I can observe this addiction in my coworkers when I glance and their monitors when I pass by and see the browser opened on Facebook or Twitter. I can see that in people on the street, who walk looking at their iPhones or Droids. I can see that in people in cafes, drinking their lattes with a laptop lid open and browser set on YouTube. I can see that in people like myself, checking Hacker News several times a day.
There is a problem, it is widespread and there is no easy solution. That's all that article is saying.