Digital Declutter

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I’ve never been someone to sit and just stare at my phone when I’m in company and I often have my mobile on silent so it doesn’t disturb me too much. When I’m with others 99% of the time they have my full attention.

What I realised though is that whenever I was bored, feeling a bit lonely or adverts came onto the television I would automatically pick up my phone and scroll mindlessly through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I realised quite a few times that I was getting so absorbed that a few hours could pass before I realised I was still scrolling. And scrolling…..and scrolling. Let’s not even get into notifications and how many times I picked my phone up in between these sessions.

Then there was WhatsApp. I was a part of numerous group chats and could receive up to 200 notifications in a day – numerous people and numerous conversations = a lot of noise.

Back in September last year I made a decision to try to simplify my life and live each day with more intention. I started with my home and wardrobe and then went as far as social media, apps on my phone and anything digital.

Facebook

I still have Facebook. I’m not sure why I’ve not been able to completely come off it. I rarely post and honestly just use it to store all my photos for safe keeping. I know I like to feel connected to old friends I don’t really see anymore, extended family members, ex work colleagues but I rarely actually connect with them. I just see flashes of their lives now and they see mine.

For now I’ve turned off all notifications and spent the time to untick all the boxes related to what Facebook think I want to see advertisements on but I rarely go on it now anyway. If you have any suggestions as to where I can store multiple photos for free that is also secure please let me know!

Twitter

I think I spent most of my time on this even though I probably only tweeted twice myself….deleted.

Instagram

Now this app I love (I’m interested in photography after all…) and thoroughly enjoy using it. I post regularly, I’m always searching for new accounts to follow and I use it for inspiration. Keep. I have however turned off all notifications.

Snapchat

Never had it and don’t want it. Not even sure what it is!

Pinterest

Total waste of time. Deleted.

WhatsApp

Too many people speaking at once, too many notifications, too many conversations at once. Couldn’t handle it. Deleted.

I also deleted all the apps I never used, would never use and any shopping apps. Unfortunately there are quite a few apps you can’t delete on an iPhone (damn you Apple).

I then went for inbox zero in both my personal email and my work email. I organised everything important and that I needed to keep into folders. I unsubscribed to all newsletters and began blocking all the pesky promotional emails that were landing in my junk folders.

I tackled my personal laptop and organised all my documents and photography into appropriate folders as well as the numerous documents in drives on my work PC.

I also deleted all bookmarks for future reading that I’ve never actually managed to get around to read. If I didn’t have time to read an article at the time I won’t in the future.

Once I finished doing all of the above (took me whole day!) I felt like a weight was off my shoulders. I felt less stressed. I still do even now. Any emails I get are genuine emails from contacts. If I need to find a document it’s easy to find. Everything has its place and it saves me so much time.

Also not being consistently disturbed by notifications has meant more intentional time with my husband of an evening. Less distraction and trying to do two things at once = less stressed and a happier me.

Friends now have to text or (shock horror!) call me on the telephone….

How much time would you say you spend on social media in a day? Do you ever get fed up with numerous notifications like I did? What apps do you use regularly?

K x

5 thoughts on “Digital Declutter

  1. happylittlehousewife says:

    I recently deactivated my Facebook, there is a setting where you can actually download all your photos from there and it was quite easy, just took some time. As for free storage, I recommend One Drive (I think it’s called) through Outlook, so it’s actually attached to one of my email addresses or Dropbox. Dropbox you can upgrade if you wish or keep it free. I find them both useful for their own things and now I use Dropbox more then one drive. I’m now partially back on Facebook but my chat ability is turned off, I need Facebook for my hobby page, so it stays, but I certainly do prefer Instagram. Even though I was off facebook for a good month + if I hop on the computer I do mindlessly find myself scrolling before I catch myself and close the tab (I’ve only been back for a few days and I am already hating it again). I now intend on setting a 5 minute alarm, if I HAVE to go on Facebook, my alarm is set and once it goes off that’s enough. It is only on my computer and I will NOT be getting it back on my phone. Also, I do love Pinterest, but I use that for inspiration with my creating and sewing, so for me it’s a useful tool that adds value 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • reynoldsmade says:

      I suppose some apps like facebook become such a normal part of life it’s hard to get rid of completely. I feel I’m on the cusp of deleting it now but I don’t need it for a hobby or promoting a business. The 5 minute alarm is a great idea and just having it on a computer and not your phone. Thanks for the advice about photo storage. I’ve heard of dropbox & I like that you can share certain albums with people so I’ll definitely check it out. Nice to connect with you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. reynoldsmade says:

    Hi Birgit!
    Thank you for taking the time to comment in such detail. I completely agree about the changing of plans – its so easy now to cancel or be late or even change the plans last minute. It drives me slightly mad. Its so much easier to let people down over text or email and not speak on the telephone.
    I also love face to face communication and I love facetime 🙂 Its the best way to connect with loved ones who are far away.
    Kelly x

    Like

  3. Birgit says:

    Hi Kelly, I think you are right. People do spend too much time on social media. Having the need to check your messages constantly is what makes it so hard for some people to relax and just do nothing. I think that is the reason why people are unhappy, feel stressed out or even worse get sick. They never recharge there batteries. And for what? Most of the time it is just silly pictures or videos. It is like you said not really something personal or important information.

    Also people constantly change their minds about where or when to meet. In the past one would say: Hey let’s meet up at (insert time) at (insert place) and everybody who had the time would be have there. No endless discussions, no last minute changes. People today have all the possibilities to make appointments, but they seem to have problems to commit, being afraid they might miss something better. I find this annoying.

    However I do use WhatsApp but only with people who are close to me. I put in silent mode, because I do not want to get a ping for every picture that is sent to me. I check my messages once a day, more often if I am waiting for a response. I am also on Facebook, but I do not have a huge friend list and I do kick people off my list if I have not talked to them or heard from them in more than a year. This keeps my list at a minimum.

    I am still a friend of phonecalls or Hangout/ Skype where you can actually see and talk to people. Now that we moved to Switzerland we do family hangouts and that makes it easier for my parents and children to cope with the new situation. Because when you see people, you can see if they are all right. When we moved to the USA in 1993, we did not have that opportunity. Phonecalls where very expensive and there was no Email, so we had to write letters that took a week to reach the other person. This time it is easier. We have different ways to connect really fast and that is great. We use slack to write each other messages. But slack is a private channel, so it is just us and that is nice. So I do not necessarily think social media is a bad thing, you just have to use it in a way that it fits your needs without becoming its slave.

    Liked by 1 person

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