Stop Hoarding Digital Junk
View guide: Putting an End to Digital Clutter
Are you a digital hoarder?
It always starts slow. Let’s say you like pets and then you come across this one image of a cute little kitty doing cute little kitty things. You decide it’s so cute you want to save it on your computer, so you do. And then you find another one and do the same thing. You hit save. And then you see a third one, a fourth, a one hundred and eighty-fifth. By the time you’re done, you have so many cute little kitty photos on your computer you’ve become a digital cat lady.
Now imagine what it would be like if you replaced cat photos with hundreds of documents, multimedia files, and emails—all of which hoarded over years of creating, downloading, and file sharing. That’s a lot of files scattered all over folders and folders stored within the deepest recesses of your computer. You’d be lucky if you’re organized enough to know where everything was. But if you’re just like the average Joe, you’re left with nothing but digital junk and the guilt of making poor life choices.
Fret not. There are ways to rid your life of digital clutter. You can start by taking account of those things you use to access and exchange digital information. Those include your computer, your mobile devices, and even your social media accounts.
Check your laptop or desktop. Just how many random files and programs are there? Do you even remember why you put them there? Too many unnecessary files causes too much strain on your computer’s memory. And having too many programs running bogs down your machine’s performance. Keep things simple, and start deleting and uninstalling everything you no longer need and use. Dormant programs are usually unpatched and may cause security problems in the long run. Get rid of them.
The same goes for your mobile device. If you think having digital clutter on your computer is bad, remember that your smartphone has a smaller memory. Do you really want to waste it on another dating app? And no, you don’t need that many versions of Angry Birds on your phone. Start purging unwanted and unused apps.
And finally, check your social media accounts. You may not think it’s important to do so, but revisiting and taking down old posts can help you in the future. You’ll thank yourself once you’ve realized you’ve posted way too many embarrassing selfies in your gallery. No one really needs to see those. You can take it a step further by also turning up the privacy settings of your account.Parting with digital clutter may be difficult at first, but once you get into the swing of things you’ll feel more in control of your data and security, if not your life. But if you think you need a little more help with uncluttering your mess, check out our guide on ending digital clutter.
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