8 Ways to Spring Clean Your Digital Life for Success
It’s getting warm out there, and you know what that means: it’s time for some good old-fashioned spring cleaning! We’re getting ready to dust away the cobwebs and throw out the junk that’s been bogging us down all winter long. But this year, we recommend you go one step further and spend some time cleaning up your digital life as well.
Over time, our online landscapes can become overrun with useless noise and unnecessary clutter. It builds up until it starts to intrude on our everyday online activities. So, this spring, do yourself a favour and give your digital homes a thorough scrub so you can start the season with a clean slate and a fresh chance for success!
Start with a Google search
No, not the Google search you do on yourself when you’re bored at work. I mean a real Google search. Use quotations to filter out anyone who isn’t you, or try using Google Incognito to find out what the unbiased Google user sees when searching your name. You might be surprised by what comes up. From here, you can figure out where to start your scrubbing.
Clean up your inbox
Are your inboxes filling up with junk mail from websites you don’t remember subscribing to? Do you have thousands of unread message begging for your attention? Are your important emails being buried beneath a digital pile of rubbish? Get in there and clean it out. All of it. And unsubscribe to those spammy emails while you’re at it. Future you will thank you for it.
In fact, get rid of that old email address
You know the one I’m talking about: the catzilla_irule or firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s time to get rid of it. Be honest with yourself, do you really need it? Or is it just dead weight?
Unfollow the unhealthy connections
We all have those people on our Facebook or Instagram pages that we love to hate. It could be your ex, your rival, or an old classmate from high school that is now more successful/attractive/well traveled than you. These connections can make us feel inadequate or self-conscious, and that’s never a good thing to hold on to. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the death of joy.” So stop, and delete the negative pitfalls you’ve built into your social media.
Un-connect on LinkedIn
When it comes to networking, it’s better to have quality over quantity. While 500+ followers may look great to the untrained eye, Samantha Bradley from middle school who works at McDonalds probably isn’t a beneficial connection to have on LinkedIn. Find these people on Twitter and get them off your LinkedIn. Filter for professional connections only.
What about old photos
Remember that super fun bar night back in college? The one where you met that guy? You looked really good that night. You posted that awesome picture and everyone liked it! Yeah… it’s time to get rid of it. As we mature, our social media should mature with us. Scroll all the way back to the oldest photos on all your social media pages and clean out anything you can’t relate to anymore. You can keep the photos in your personal folders if you want, but you never know which boss, coworker, or mean friend has a little too much time on their hands. You don’t want some photos coming back to haunt you. Trust me. People will find them, and they will judge.
Don’t be afraid to DELETE
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Google+, SnapChat, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Tinder. If you don’t use it, get rid of it. Better to delete it entirely than have it out there misrepresenting who you are. The same goes for your old band or portfolio websites and blogs. Be brutal and minimize.
Follow the right pages
Once all the noise and negativity has been cleaned out, think for a second about the pages you COULD be following on your social media sites. Forbes, TEDX, National Geographic? Take your social media feed of insecurities and turn it into an RSS feed of enlightenment. Follow the resources that make you think, help you improve your skills, and connect you to the world outside.
When in doubt, cut it out. If it’s not adding anything to your digital world, why keep it around? You’ll be surprised how liberating a good cleaning can truly be.