29 Dec 2011

Digital Housekeeping for a New Year.

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I like to be well-prepared to greet a new year. This means having a tidy house, a clean desktop, and an overall clean slate for the 1st of the year. Well, it’s the 29th and I’m freaking out because I just did a vanity search on Google and found a nasty mess of my life.

Apparently in the last couple of years, I’ve signed up for 1,356,389 accounts on “up-and-coming” social networks that never came to fruition, but have an archived version of my profile for the world to see. I also have tons of embarrassingly passionate product reviews published on Amazon.

Offline, I found yet another mess. Unredeemed and soon-to-expire Groupons and Google offer codes. A nasty chunk of daily email I angrily delete every morning. Months of decently Instagrammed photos that deserve a permanent home in my hard drive. Crappy $0.99 iPhone apps I should have never downloaded.

Please join me in some digital housekeeping for the new year so we can stop polluting the world with stinky MBs of… stuff.

  • Sync up (or nuke) your social media profiles – 2 hours of work
    MySpace. Facebook. That one rogue Blogger account you created when you thought posting pictures of your groceries every week would be interesting. Your social identity is all over the place, and people can find this stuff. The Internet vividly represents all of the stupid phases of your lifeand it’s time to create one unified identity. Do a quick search for your name and make all those Amazon reviews anonymous. Did I really passionately review a table lamp back in 2005? Update your photos and bio on the profiles you do want to keep, and nuke the profiles you obviously will never use again. My DeviantArt account from when I was in freakin’ high school can be found when searching for my name.

    My emo 17 year old self will cease to exist in 2012.







  • Remove yourself from useless email lists – 30 minutes
    Did you sign yourself up to the top 20 daily deal websites earlier this year thinking you’d only shop for luxury items marked down 50% from now on? Now you find yourself laying in bed before work, deleting the group of 50 emails you get every morning telling you to buy cashmere sweaters from Fancy Brand McGee. This morning routine is something we’ve grown to accept, but it subconsciously fills our heads with promotional garbage that you’d be doing yourself a mental health favor by stopping it. Take 10 minutes to open each of those daily emails, scroll to the bottom and click the handy dandy “Unsubscribe”link. Your inbox will be meaningful again.

    Click it for your health.


  • Delete apps from your phone – 5 minutes
    In an inebriated state a few months back, I downloaded an app that plays all the Pokemon sounds.  To this day, that app sits on my phone, taking up precious space and in combination with other inane apps, slows down my phone. Take five minutes to delete any apps you haven’t used in the last 2 weeks.










  • Organize your Groupons, and return any you won’t use – 30 minutes
    Remember that fishing Groupon you bought months ago, promising yourself to coordinate a nice fishing trip with your friends in the summer, but really ended up watching Millionaire Matchmaker all weekend instead? Log in to your daily deal site accounts, search your inbox, print your coupons and put them up on your fridge if they’re not already expired. If you don’t plan on using them, many sites will gladly take them back (Groupon has a great return policy).

    Groupon cat cares.





  • Store, upload, organize and print your photos (yes, even the Instagram ones) – 2-5 hours
    We know you take some care of your photos from that DSLR you got for Christmas last year. But what about the ever growing amount of photos you take with your phone? The photos of last night’s dinner. The blurry one of you at the bar a few months back. Yes, phone photos are not your best work, but they still document moments of your life and should be deemed valuable, no matter how stupid-looking that Instagram filter made it. Export those photos to your computer and store them properly. If you’re feeling especially creative, create and print your own photo book online on sites like Blurb, or Snapfish.

    My future children will surely enjoy these Instragram photos of my pizza/cupcake lunch and self-portrait in the bar bathroom.

You should be able to get through all of this in a day’s work and be ready to take on whatever the 2012 has to throw at you.
Any other tidying up to do online? Leave a comment.

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