I'm not a fan of the digital detox. I see it the same way as a weight loss diet. Diligent denial may have short-term results, but my long-term goal is to achieve digital wellness and become a minimalist in this area as well. I want to use fewer but well chosen digital services and technology to serve me. But before that, I need to do some digital cleaning.
At the beginning of the year, I started with a purge of cloud storage and photos. I deleted dozens of mobile phone apps and sold one of my laptops and a monitor. I started keeping Inbox Zero as a way of working with emails. It's made it easier with a gmail inbox, to which I've redirected all the other private email addresses I use. That way I can handle all my incoming mail from one inbox. The great thing is that I send a response to an email automatically from the same address it was originally sent to using the gmail settings.
I've also tamed the bookmarks in my browser. There were hundreds of them. Fortunately, many of them led to pages that are no longer in use or videos that have disappeared from youtube. Among the bookmarks were also a lot of articles that - when I have time - I wanted to make notes from. The oldest one was from 2015, still accessible and interesting years later. However, I moved the link from the bookmarks to the WorkFlowy app.
I fell in love with WorkFlowy for its sheer simplicity. The basic version is free, but after a month of using it, I subscribed. I moved not only the browser bookmarks I want to return to, but also notes from Evernote and my mobile phone into it. I have all my thoughts and toDo lists in one place and I can no longer find myself writing the same thing in Evernote, on a piece of paper somewhere, and in notes on my phone. Although I was an Evernote user for over a decade, I cancelled the service. On Twitter, I deleted a third of the accounts I followed and deleted the ornery Tweets as well. If I found an article or video among them that interested me, the link went back to my external brain in WorkFlowy. I was led to use it by an article by Jiri Benedikt, in which he gives some tips on how to use the application.
I want technology to serve me and make my life easier. I don't want to be distracted by it. I've cancelled notifications for incoming personal and business emails, unsubscribed from a lot of email newsletters, and muted some mass messenger conversations.
Digital minimalism or information detox is a trend that is yet to gain momentum and importance. Tons of content and messages are pouring in from all sides. Apps are fighting for our attention and we have ideas popping into our heads that we need to write down or Google immediately. However, I don't see digital minimalism as an instruction to frantically abandon social networks and other apps, but rather in evaluating the personal benefits of each service and finding a healthy moderation in its use. I need to focus on how to get the most positives out of them while eliminating the negative impacts. Although social networks and other apps seem to be free, this is not the case. I pay with my time and attention, which I may then miss elsewhere.