Decluttering Your Digital Life

Do you ever open Facebook, or Twitter, or your inbox and immediately regret doing it?

So much of the stuff circulating online is negative- news stories, political rant posts, people whining or complaining, people arguing in the Facebook comments… And if it’s not negative, it’s spammy- sponsored ads, pages you follow, sale announcements, clearance events… I find myself reading and clicking on things I didn’t come online to see. Twenty minutes later I have no idea what I came online to do (if there even was anything) and I’m kind of annoyed.

While the bury my head in the sand method is tempting, it’s not effective. Intention is my new favorite notion, so I figured I would take my intention and turn it toward my online life.

  1. Unsubscribe from those e-mails you don’t even read. You know what I’m talking about. Those e-mails you signed up for but immediately just delete or leave unread because you don’t actually have time for all that. And after you do that…
  2. Clean out your inbox. I have three e-mail accounts, plus a work account (I KNOW IT’S ABSURD I’M WORKING ON CONSOLIDATING) but I hit “inbox zero” regularly on all of my accounts. Nothing makes me more uncomfortable than a very full, disorganized inbox. Plus, Google will show you a happy sunshine with a smiley face that says, “Please enjoy your day!”

    So cheerful!

  3. Unfollow Facebook pages that are no longer serving you. Turns out liking about 50 random pages back in 2007 wasn’t a great idea. And you don’t necessarily want to rely on Facebook to learn about events in the world. Talk about bias.
  4. Unfollow Facebook friends who are annoying the shit out of you. Unfriending people is extreme, and Facebook has given us the delightful option to hide people from our newsfeeds. People can complain about political candidates/millennials/baby boomers/companies/men/women/the second amendment, and you don’t have to see it!
  5. Sort through who you follow on other media. For me, this is Twitter. I follow a lot of accounts (over 750) and I went through and unfollowed all news outlets. Which leads me to my next point.
  6. Decide where you want to get your news. Remember the good old days when you could get all of your news from one place, like your favorite newspaper? I vaguely do (what is… paper?) and the sheer number of places to get news online is overwhelming. Enter theSkimm. Get the jist of the news each weekday morning in your shiny clean inbox, and if you want to know more about something, seek it out.
  7. Remember not to open Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat 50 times a day. Guilty over here. Majorly. This is where intention comes back into play. If you find yourself endlessly scrolling, ask yourself why you came here. If you have no reason (and no, being bored is probably not truly valid), think about that.
  8. Turn your attention elsewhere. With all of the time you will eventually be saving by not being glued to social media, think about how you’d like to spend your time. For me, I have a lot of things I’m trying to do/be, and while I’m usually good at remembering to *hey pick up a book*, it takes time to get into the habit of setting, visiting, and working toward goals.
  9. Practice being more in the moment. Similarly, you’ll be able to be more present in your surroundings if you’re not so tuned out. Notice the little things. Flowers, birds, dogs, people, the sky, clouds, how the rain feels… anything at all.

Decluttering your digital life

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