Throughout the course of this year, you likely added all sorts of new things to your digital life. You followed more people on Twitter, added some RSS subscriptions, let your inbox get out of control and saved hundreds of articles into Instapaper. Now, your digital life is cluttered, and blogger Frank Chimero suggests you get rid of it all to start from scratch.
Our digital tools make it incredibly easy to add new things to them. You can send a page to Instapaper in a click, you can add new people to Twitter in a second, and adding apps to your homescreen takes two seconds. If this clutter is feeling a bit like a burden, it might be time to ditch it all. Chimero explains his “digital jubilee”:
The Jubilee offers a way out of oppressive expectations, even if they are our own. This year, I’m practicing a digital jubilee by archiving my inbox, deleting my RSS subscriptions, and unfollowing most everyone on Twitter. These, of course, will fill back up as time passes, but now I have a recurring way to purge.
I’ve done this before as well. Last year I trashed all my personal RSS subscriptions so I could start from scratch and find new things. Last weekend, I cleaned out the 200 articles I had saved in Pocket, 195 of which I had never read.
Everyone wants to stay caught up with the news, articles and people you’re interested in, but it’s easy to get buried under your own tools. This is a way to clean them up and rebuild them with your new interests. Obviously you may only need this with certain tools — or maybe none at all — but if you’re buried under your own interests it’s one of the ways to get yourself back on track.
Remember, in a lot of cases you can archive without deleting, which gets your digital junk out of your way without permanently destroying them. While you’re at it, it’s probably a good time to clean up all that media clutter too.