written by alison

I go through these phases where I feel like I need to eliminate all of my worldly possessions and live as minimally as I can. Then I think about how much I love having a car, reading actual books, why I truly need two computers plus the IBM that I don’t consider to be a computer… and quickly realize that I am never going to successfully live out of a suitcase.┬áBut that’s ok, because I don’t have to. Although I do think simplicity and minimalism have their appeal, I’m just learning to define it for myself.

digital minimalism

When I realized that I could simplify my digital life without taking a single box to Goodwill, I felt the ground shift beneath me. I have 6 twitter accounts (not including the ones that I admin for clients), 4 installations of WordPress on my server (and that’s after I cleaned up a bit) and at least 2 inboxes open at any given moment during the day. No wonder I’ve been feeling a bit frazzled and spread thin.

I recently sat down with a notebook and pen – take that digital chaos! – and wrote a list of all my social network accounts. Once I had the entire list in front of me, I got super motivated to change my account creating ways. A few minutes later, a digital purging plan was born. {dramatic music}

That saying “you have to make a mess to clean a mess” seems like my current motto. My first item of business was to quit tumblr entirely since I decided that 1 blogging platform was enough. Instead of clicking “delete” and moving on, I felt like I had to migrate all of my 693 posts from my business tumblr to my business blog. Unfortunately, none of them had names since you don’t title posts in tumblr. Which means that I’ve spent a chunk of time each night naming old blog posts like a crazy person.

Once I’m done with that, I’ll start working on merging my two pinterest accounts. If they still don’t have a feature for doing that when I’m ready, I will have to spend chunks of time repinning things to the account that I want to use going forward. Because again, I just can’t click “delete” and let all of that great content disappear. (Digital minimalism my ass!)

And then… it’s time for twitter. This round should be less painful. My plan is to scroll through the accounts I follow on my soon-to-be-retired accounts and follow them with my chosen twitter handle. It will take an evening of watching trashy tv, not days weeks like the others. Maybe I’ll get inspired to unfollow some current accounts that aren’t rocking my world. Seems possible.

After all of that work, I’ll have gone from 15 social network accounts to 5. Sometimes I feel like a cat lady on an episode of hoarders bargaining for the right to keep “just 5 of them,” but I can’t see cold turkey working for me. It doesn’t when I try to quit drinking soda or eating oreos. I’d like to think I’ll be blown away by the amount of time I have to create that inspiration will swoop in and help me pare it down to 3 accounts.

Honestly though, just typing that made my heart beat a bit faster. Signs of an addict.