Digital Decluttering for Dummies
I believe one of the best ways to learn psychology is by learning more about:
- Your smartphone.
- Other people’s smartphones.
If you think about it, a smartphone is very similar to a human.
What are the parts of a smartphone?
- Telecommunications to connect to the internet.
What are the parts of a human?
- Mind, aka software.
- Experiences, aka data.
- Nervous system, aka hardware.
- Communication skills, aka the internet.
With this stunning parallel, I don’t think it’s rocket science to understand that the smartphone has a lot of answers.
A clouded smartphone often translates to a clouded mind.
Attention spans are plummeting.
Distraction is rising.
We need to go back to the basics.
Let’s learn some digital decluttering principles for dummies.
Just like no 2 thumbprints are the same.
No 2 smartphones are the same.
Dangers of a Cluttered Smartphone
A cluttered smartphone leads to anxiety in the making.
The average person checks their smartphone a lot.
And when you think about it, the smartphone is a relatively new concept.
If you’re a 90s baby, then you probably vividly remember a lot of the phones in the mid-2000s.
There were the:
- Sony Ericson’s.
- And even those Nokia phones with the snake game. That game was hella’ addicting!
Well, those phones are infants compared to the phones we have nowadays.
Modern phones are no different than a computer.
Today’s smartphones have the capability to record videos.
And much more.
As the legendary Uncle Ben once said:
“With great power comes great responsibility.”
What is Digital Decluttering?
Digital decluttering is getting rid of the content on your phone that does not suit your purpose.
This definition is quite vague, so let’s get more specific.
The first thing to know is that all apps are subjective in nature.
I used to know this girl who had an app for making her Instagram pictures prettier.
This app would let her:
- Slim her waist.
- Raise her cheekbones.
- Lighten her face.
And many other features.
For her, that app was very valuable.
For me, it was useless.
Why the hell would I do all that morphing on my pictures??
Fuck that! I just add a filter that Instagram gives me and hit upload.
If you want to follow me on Instagram, here is my account.
Point being, apps are subjective in nature.
It’s difficult for anyone to say:
‘Get rid of xyz and keep abc.’
That’s just not practical.
‘Then what do I do?’
You assess the purpose that you’re operating your life with.
Using Purpose to Clean up the Phone
The phone is meant to be a servant, not a master.
But as of late, the servant has become the master.
The phone becomes the master when the user of the phone has no purpose.
That’s when all information looks like good information.
That’s when all apps seem like it needs to be downloaded.
Let’s say the purpose is to lose weight.
That’s the goal.
Well, now it becomes easier to organize the phone in a way where it’s based on the theme of:
- Get healthy.
That’s when the food tracker app can be placed on the home screen.
And the random games which are rarely played can finally be deleted.
Deleting anything feels tough at first.
But once the deletion has taken place, there’s that feeling of an anchor being removed from the internal world.
‘Are apps the only thing I delete for digital decluttering?’
Nope. Toxic people are fair game to delete as well.
There are some people on the contact list who have no business being there.
They are annoying, talk shit, and start drama for no reason.
3 Tips for Digital Decluttering
The following steps are how I go about digital decluttering.
Take what works and eliminate whatever doesn’t.
1. Have a Theme
A general theme is all it takes to understand what is worth deleting and what is worth keeping.
For me, my general theme is advancing the ArmaniTalks brand in some way.
So, I have apps that track my sales, allow me to communicate with clients, and measure my health so I am in peak condition.
This allows me to delete apps and people who are destructive to my interests.
The theme is not forever set in stone…
It’s capable of evolving.
2. Create Pages and Folders
All items do not have to be deleted either.
An alternate option is to create alternate pages and folders.
For example, my home page has all my important apps.
While the second page has secondary apps.
These are the apps that are fun for me and/or serve some utility.
Shazam, Instagram, and Notepad.
And there are apps that I need once in the blue.
Rather than permanently deleting those apps.
I just store it away in a folder.
3. Re-Evaluate the Design Every Now & Then
Former Papa John’s CEO, John Schnatter, once said:
“If you aren’t tinkering, then you aren’t living.”
With experimentation, there is no end game.
The phone is a complex system that will grow alongside us.
If you were to ask me what contents were on my phone 5 years ago, I’d have to think about it.
That’s because I was a different person 5 years ago.
Therefore, do the digital decluttering.
But avoid the ‘one and done’ mentality.
Clearing up your Digital Universe
The digital world is a world in itself.
It has a lot of the characteristics of real life.
The pictures we have are like memories.
Apps are like islands.
And the people in the contact list are like… people.
Prioritizing concentration also means prioritizing digital decluttering to a certain degree.
Get rid of the toxicity.
And make room for the light!
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