How to clean out your crazy tech life in the new year
Welcome to 2015, a year for new starts! There’s no denying that we live in an age filled with innovative and awesome technology, and I just can’t get enough. But just like any other part of life, your technology could always use a reboot. I’m not talking that whole turn-it-off-and-on-again stuff. I mean real, intense purging and refreshing of your phone, your computer, and your social media. While we’re not clearing away anything that we can actually touch, we’re getting rid of a lot of baggage that weighs us down both emotionally and logistically when we’re just tryna publish a tweet. Here are some ideas for speeding up your devices while cleaning up your life!
It’s never too early in the year to start your spring cleaning, and when it comes to your phone—say it with me—there’s an app for that! Specifically, for that thing that takes up the most space: your camera roll. Flic lets you swipe through your photos and easily discard the ones that you no longer need. I know more than anyone that it can take 20+ photos to achieve the perfect selfie, but once the deed is done, they just end up sitting there and taking up valuable space that you need for downloading the latest episode of Serial.
This “spring” cleaning also applies to other areas of your phone: your contacts (you probably won’t be calling your lab partner from high school whose number you only got to ask a question about the homework that one time ever again), your apps (I gave up on the Kim K Hollywood game a long time ago), and your music (but I’ll never give up the Harry Potter soundtrack).
Once your phone is squeaky clean, make sure everything is updated and that you have the newest version of iOS. I swear, your phone will actually feel lighter.
I like to clean out my computer every season or so, but it’s especially important if you want to have a smooth transition into the new year. The easiest way to do this is to get a free download of Disk Inventory X. It’s like a virtual map of your hard drive, and you can see what is taking up space and how much of it. For instance, if you have a lot of video files, “Video” will be a giant square. Then you can just click on it and delete, and it’s gone in a puff of smoke. You can keep exploring and clicking and deleting until you’ve gotten rid of just everything that has been slowing your computer down. It’s so much easier than going into each folder and deleting each unwanted file individually.
While you’re at it, go ahead and uninstall any programs you no longer use, and delete your browser history. These are all hidden space-suckers on your computer, and clearing them out regularly leaves room for your more important files.
Once you’ve cleaned your computer on the inside, it’s time for the outside to get some luvin. To clean the screen, just use a slightly damp cloth (avoid something like Windex—the alcohol is bad for the protective coating!).
To clean the keyboard, a can of compressed air is a life-saver. Any gunk or Christmas cookie crumbs that get around the keys will be blasted away safely and without harming the interior of the machine.
Your Social Media
This is the biggy, because sometimes it feels like it can follow you (no pun intended) everywhere—whether you’re on your computer or not. I like to do a “year in review” for my all platforms—such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.—and delete any posts that I don’t feel represent me anymore (. . . or, if I’m being honest, delete any hilarious jokes I made on Twitter that didn’t get any likes. People didn’t like Van Gogh originally either. Whatever, I’m a comedian).
Just as important as rethinking what it is you’re putting out to the world is also what you’re taking in. Do a once-over of your news feed, the people you follow, the media you consume. Is any of it toxic? Are there things you hate-follow? Is there content you just don’t need in your life anymore? Then take it away! You have the power to make your online presence as safe and positive a space as you want, so get rid of any negative energy.
The best thing about these tips is that you can turn to them any time of year, which is the spirit of the new year in general. Let’s make these changes and resolutions now so we can embody them for the rest of 2015 (and beyond)!