John Halamka has a pretty interesting blog post out there that talks about his decision to reduce his digital burden. I love his approach, because unlike so many people it’s a very reasonable approach to simplifying his online and social media life. Most people that write a blog post like his say stuff like “I’m quitting social media” or “I’m getting off the internet.”
While I understand the emotion, I think those decisions are usually really dumb decisions (with a few safety exceptions). When you take an all or nothing approach to social media and life online, then you often throw the baby out with the bathwater. The wiser move is to take a much more sophisticated approach to social media and your online life. Save the parts that add value and cut the pieces that don’t.
I understand that this can be a lot easier said than done, but it’s certainly possible. In fact, I’d argue that it’s necessary for your own sanity. If you don’t then your digital burden will creep up and your health and well being will suffer.
As I look into the future of health apps, one of the most important features of that future is letting technology filter those things that don’t matter. Plus, it needs to bubble up to the top those things that do matter. Technology does a poor job of this today, but it will get there.
What I find interesting is that John Halamka has ended with a similar result as me with one exception. I still do a ton on LinkedIn and he shut down his account. Granted, we have very different goals. Plus, I think he could still glean a lot of value from LinkedIn if he’d have approached it the right way. We definitely do align when it comes to personal/work email, Twitter, blogs (I guess I have a few more blogs than he does), and Facebook.
I’ve often argued for a dive in and optimize approach to social media platforms. Spend a month or two diving into a social media platform you don’t know. Then, once you understand the nuances of that community, optimize your efforts in it. In some cases that means you stop doing it all together. In other cases you automate certain things that matter to you. In other cases, you casually participate. Every once in a while you add it to your phone’s home screen and it becomes a daily habit.
We all know about digital burden. Cutting out the weeds is good housekeeping. That’s a progressive idea and not regressive as some may suggest. The key is being honest with yourself about what’s a week and what’s a flower.