I recently wrote about my failed breakup with Facebook, which stemmed from a desire to simplify my life and social network. While I may not have been sucessful in eliminating the site from my life, that day of deletion did inspire me to clean up my cyber existence a bit. Here are some tips and tricks for you to do the same!
1. Lay siege on your Facebook friends and take no prisoners. This was almost as difficult for me to do as deactivating my Facebook itself. I would try and slim down my friends list, only to worry that I was deleting potentially beneficial social connections. But I soon realized that nothing good was ever going to come from me rolling my eyes at asinine updates from middle school peers, so I turned off my concerns and deleted away. Plus, this way I have a better idea of who is able to peek into my life.
2. Cut something out. Be it web surfing time or a site you only kind of use, de-clutter your Internet routine by saying no to something all together. If you limit yourself to a certain amount of time online, you'll prioritize sites and waste less time. Or just delete that Tumblr you visit once a week, or the Pinterest account you never use, but still receive annoying emails from.
3. Speaking of email...clean up your subscriptions! I was waking up every morning to at least 50 messages from sites like Ideeli, Groupon and MoveOn, all of which I never read. So I took the time to unsubscribe from a slew of sites (even the "intelligent" ones that I would always tell myself I was going to start reading), and I was pleasantly surprised at the effect it had! Now, instead of just deleting all unread messages in order to avoid sorting through them, I actually want to read what hits my inbox in the morning!
4. Utilize Google Docs. If you haven't taken a look at Google Docs yet, stop reading and do it right now! (Then come back, of course.) It's like having Microsoft Office everywhere, and you can access your documents at any computer with Internet connection. I use it to create to-do lists, jot down thoughts, organize recipes I find online and lots more. And it lets you sort things into folders! I love folders.
5. Organize your favorites toolbar. I went through and did this last week, and it's a nice little treat to have my regular sites right in my toolbar (as opposed to the random blogs I put there three years ago and never visited again). I also discovered a slew of sites that I had forgotten existed, and excitedly checked up on pages that I loved, but had slipped my mind. Unearthing old virtual haunts is actually really fun, and can bring back some good memories!
Do you feel like your online life is overwhelming at times? How do you simplify it?