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New Year's Resolutions For Your Digital Life

The three things that should be first on your checklist this year

Jan 1, 2019 ยท 3 min read

New Year's resolutions. We make them. We break them. But here's the thing: we procrastinate if something is not worth doing. If we find no value from it, we set it aside for later and do something else.

But if we are convinced that it is worth doing, then procrastination goes away. So here are three things that could make it into your New Year's resolutions list, assuming that I could convince you that you should be doing it.

Get off social media

Social media can be very helpful. It can easily connect you to people, places and things of interest. But it has a dark side.

It can make you depressed. It can make you lose focus and productivity. It can make you feel inferior, imperfect, unimportant. It can turn you into an egocentric, narcissistic prima donna too.

So enough with that. Delete your social media accounts. If you use it for news, subscribe to a news service instead. If you want to stay in touch with people, use a dedicated messaging service.

If you like to write, get a blog and start writing. If you make videos, take up vlogging and learn video editing. If you like posting fancy photos, take photography seriously.

Audit online accounts

The average internet user has at least 90 online accounts. But here's the problem: If a bunch of them have the same password, a single compromised account can render the others compromised.

Your personal information are in those accounts as well. If your accounts or the services themselves are compromised, the least you get is probably spam email for Viagra. The worst you could get, however, is a zeroed bank account, a stolen credit card, or your identity stolen.

What I suggest is you make a list of all the websites you currently used or have used. For the ones that you no longer use, close them permanently. For the ones that you still use, now's a good time to update their passwords.

Passwords should be strong and unique to each account. This way, should one account be compromised, its credentials cannot be used for another. You should also be using a password manager to securely store all of these passwords.

Be mindful of what you share

We're taught to never talk to strangers, never reveal social security numbers, never go out in the dark. And yet, when it comes to social media, all that lecture goes out the window.

Everyone is sharing anything about everything, from that "morning look" selfie to that midnight ramen. #imsobroke #toolazy #instasnacks.

Thing is, everything you share translates to data about you. And that data can be misused as easily as it is used. Remember, what's uploaded to the internet stays on the internet.

The best way to avoid something from going viral on the internet is to never put it there in the first place. So before you share anything, ask yourself "Should I be putting this on the internet?".

Conclusion

So yeah, three simple things. They're the first few steps toward a full-scale digital detox. Once you get past the the mindless content consumption and crave to share everything about yourself phase, everything else will come naturally.

You'll stop grabbing your phone every now and then, you no longer get the phantom vibration syndrome, you stop talking about yourself all the time, stop using words like "I" and "my", etc.

Hopefully this article gave you insight on how to start the year with a digital detox. As always, if you have comments or suggestions, feel free to drop a line.

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