Today, during my free time at work, I decided to delete a few online accounts that I don’t really use anymore.
This is one of those areas that stresses me out. Think of all the times you’ve signed up for an account online: to join a social network, to shop, to blog, to pin, to email, to watch video, to rent movies, to apply for jobs, to upload photos, to assign grades to your professors, to download music, to manage your insurance policies, to get concert tickets, to check your bank statements, to sell things, to video chat, to go to online traffic school…..yes, that last one applies to me.
Have I left anything out?
Ridiculous, but I guess somewhat better than visual clutter. It still creeps me out, though. Just knowing that my name and information is just floating around out there in all these different ways.
So, delete some accounts, you say.
Well, the trouble is, it’s not always that simple. You see, on my journey, I’ve realized that a lot of these websites and services WON’T ALLOW YOU TO DO SO!
So, please believe, I have been emailing or calling those who refuse to let me delete my account on my own. If at all possible, I will “minimalize“this area of my life.
The good news is, most of the time, if you just send a simple email to firstname.lastname@example.org saying you’d like for them to delete your account, they usually reply within a couple of days and acquiesce your request. (Double check by trying to log in once more after they say they’ve done it, however. I found a couple of times that theytold me one thing but didn’t actually do it. In these cases I just emailed them again saying there must have been a mistake, seeing as how I was still able to log in. They usually do what they say the second time. <wink wink>)
I know this is an area of my life where I may not be exactly where I’d like to be, but I think I can get pretty close to it.
When it comes to opening any new online accounts, I have just started to think before acting. Is this a service I really want or need in my life? Will I truly use this account, or be bored with it in a matter of weeks—or even days? Can this account be terminated in the future if I decide I no longer wish to use it?
I encourage you to ask yourself these same questions. This may not seem important to some, but it may be a bigger issue than you realize.
Think of all the time we waste with our faces buried in our computer screens, tablets, smart phones, etc. Shouldn’t we be spending more time with those we love in a more real and tangible way? While technology has such a vast number of advantages, through the over-use of it, we’re becoming emotionally and physically detached from the world around us.
Currently, I’ve closed out 15 different online accounts.
I still have plenty more to deal with, but some of them are trickier or harder to let go of than others. Considering there are only about 15 that I actually need or regularly use, I’m thinking of setting a new goal for myself. I wonder how low I can go…..
Are there areas of your cyber life that need to be simplified?