Goal for 2022: Digital Minimalism
The act of “removing” is not a new phenomena but rather something integral to the human experience. Dieting, spring cleaning, and meditating may seem different on the surface, but when you look deeper, the outcome is the same. The deeper purpose is to get rid of unwanted things in our life with the hope something good may come from it. Hence why in 2022, I am fully committing to digital minimalism.
When I refer to digital minimalism, I am thinking about more than just decreasing my digital footprint, but also the number of emails I receive, the countless accounts I have on random websites, and the number of passwords I have saved on my phone. I plan to be thoughtful about these things because I believe it can be a physical manifestation of over consumption of potentially negative, outside energy.
Usually when I look at my home screen, I see a long list of notifications from podcasts, emails, and apps. I become overwhelmed because first, I have to decide if any of these notifications are worth my time. Second, I can opt to use the Focus feature to hide the notifications since I have an iPhone but at some point, I will have to face them. I usually face the mountain of emails in my inbox and that is not a pleasant encounter. The true issue is I have subscribed, downloaded, and signed-up for multiple things because either I don’t want to miss something or I get duked into making an online account to use a website and forget to deactivate.
Going forward in 2022, I am making a commitment to myself to:
- Be thoughtful of what I give energy to. For example, I will think twice about jumping on Linkedin or Instagram because I’m bored and want to check-in and see what others are doing. Rather, I will take that walk outside, read a book, or spend quiet time with myself. The social media phenomena is a constant topic being discussed by researchers in all academic circles as we continue to figure out the long term impacts on society and individuals.
- Unsubscribe, Delete, Deactivate, Repeat. I am unsubscribing from email listservs. I am mostly signed up with clothing stores for for my wallet and sanity, I don’t need to keep up with EVERY Banana Republic sale. I am deleting all unnecessary emails that do not serve a purpose such as being a receipt for a purchase or contains important information. Additionally, I plan to delete the millions of email accounts I made just because. No more. I am deactivating all the online accounts I no longer use. This one may be harder in some cases, but if you don’t see the option, feel free to reach out to customer service that usually solves the trick! These are probably the most time consuming commitments I will make, but that is why I will be repeating them until I’m finished.
- Be content with “missing out.” FOMO is real! We all know this and yet we continue to feed into it. It is inevitable you are going to miss something. Think about it. If you are living your life, no matter how much social media you consume, you cannot know what every person in THE WORLD is doing at every second of the day. That is fine. I don’t want to know about every sale because guess what? I don’t have endless money to spend and honestly, I would go bankrupt. Also, I think this is a lesson for life too especially when it comes to getting rid of things that cause you negative energy. For example, I chose to unfollow a lot of people I went to college with because I realized I was not interested in keeping up with them and they reminded of some of the things from college that I wanted to forget. I felt guilty the first few times but I had to focus on taking control over my timeline and what I’m consuming.
In conclusion, digital minimalism is helpful in so many ways but it has to be a practice integrated into your lifestyle. We have the tendency to create space, but then we will fill it again with items we were working to get rid of and the process starts again. Since 2019, I would engage in digital minimialism in spurts. I would go for 3 months and then stop. Start again, then stop. But I realized this is not something I can do short term and expect long-term benefits. Everyday I have to make the choice to engage less in the digital world and more in the physical world.