I can't even count how many times I've hopped on Facebook to send someone a quick message, only to see an awesome recipe I want to check out, a question I could chime in on in a blogger group, an inspiring post that I need to “like,” a project that I need to pin, and a funny post from a friend that I need to comment on.
I get all off track and end up closing Facebook to move on to the next task when I realize I never even sent the message I jumped on to send in the first place.
Doing a digital detox is something I'm working on and I want to share how I'm going about it. I think this will help me achieve a lot of my goals – I'm already noticing so many benefits of doing a media cleanse:
- more mental clarity
- less wasted time
- more intention with social media use
- better organization
- more positive messages
5 Ways to Clean Up Your Online Life
Clean up your social media profiles. This is probably the most time-consuming step of the whole list, but it's crazy important, since social media can be such a huge time-suck.
- Unlike, unfriend, unfollow all the brands and people that no longer resonate with you or that put more negativity than positivity.
- Check out your “about me” sections while you're at it – do they still represent you well? Have you grown or changed since writing them?
- Turn push notifications off on your phone for social media, unless there's a truly good reason why you need them on. Make a commitment to check in on social media at certain times rather than being “on call” all day, every day.
- Be very intentional with the conversations you choose to participate in. Just because you CAN comment, doesn't mean you SHOULD comment.
Create lists on your social media profiles. Did you know that you can create lists on Twitter and Facebook? I'm dreaming of the day you can do the same on Pinterest and Instagram, too. Lists help you group content so that you can be more intentional with your browsing.
For example, you can make a list for “family members” and a list for celebrities you like and a list for bloggers who write about aromatherapy and a list for colleagues or business contacts.
Use Unroll.me to streamline your email inbox. Seriously. So good. You can use unroll.me to unsubscribe to things you no longer need and also to “roll up” emails that don't need individual attention. So instead of getting a million sales emails and newsletters a day, you can roll them up and just get one email to scan and read what you need to. I hope they add the function to create multiple “rollups,” since I would love to have separate emails for sales, blog newsletters, and blog comments, but I still really appreciate the service the way it is.
Change your homepage to something that is not a news site. What currently serves as your homepage? The news or social media? That's a sure way to start off your browsing sessions with a ton of distractions. Right now, I have Teux Deux set as my homepage, which isn't really my favorite solution, but at least it's intentional. I would really like to create a page of inspirational quotes and images and set that as my homepage, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
Reassess how you spend your browsing time. Are you wandering the web aimlessly or purposely seeking out information on a topic you actually want to learn more about? Try to get in the habit of putting your blinders on when going online and just doing what you set out to do without getting lost in clicktopia. Pocket is super helpful for saving links to read later.
This probably seems like a lot of work, and it is. But all this really will help you have a more peaceful online experience and more mental clarity in general.
If you need clarity now, though – and you need to get to all this cleansing later – there is a more simple way, too. Ready?
- Shut off your phone.
- Shut off your computer.
- Shut off your TV.
When you adjust to the sensation of NOT absorbing information at warp speed, do something else. Do something slow. Cook something, and really enjoy being there cooking it. Walk out into your yard and be mindful of how the fresh air feels and smells. Play a game with your little ones. Create something. Write.
The world is yours, my friend!