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Small steps towards achieving digital minimalism

Only since removing Facebook from my phone have I noticed just how much of a distraction it has been in my life. I was addicted to mindlessly scrolling through the newsfeed.

Digital minimalism is a mindset of questioning which digital communication tools are necessary for your happiness. Whether it be email, social media, or general internet consumption, the purpose of this philosophy is to question whether or not they add value to your life.

Melissa Camara Wilkins

Knowing my personality, going cold turkey would lead to significant fear of missing out and even more addictive usage, so instead I’ll be taking small steps towards achieving digital minimalism.

To make a start I’ve broken my next steps down into a checklist, which I’ll add to and update over time:

  • Be more intentional, rather than mindlessly consuming
  • Remove social media apps from my phone
  • Disable all except the most important notifications from my phone
  • Change browser home pages
  • Clean up my Facebook newsfeed by removing “friends” and group
  • Unsubscribe from email lists
  • Consolidate my online presence by removing accounts

Facebook still proves to be useful, albeit noisy, whether for keeping in touch with family or organising group motorbike rides, so I’ll still keep my account active - but with a reduced newsfeed, it’ll just be a matter of being more intentional with my usage rather than zombie scrolling.

I’ve made a start on consolidating my online presence by running Deseat.me (yes, another service!) over my Gmail account. Deseat.me found a staggering 340 sites that I’ve previously signed up to, of which 276 I plan to delete my account. Consolidating my online presence will prove very challenging, as I’m quite sentimental - logging in to old services I haven’t used will bring back a lot of memories. Rather than just 5-10 minutes to log in and remove the account, it’s more likely to be 10-15 minutes reviewing the past.

It’s definitely going to take some time to get through my checklist, but I know the end result will be worth it.