I minimized my digital footprint over the year. I think the trigger was reading a few books on digital minimalism which led me to ask the following questions:
- Am I living in the past?
- Am I getting joy by being on this product?
- If I delete my account, will I ever regret it in the future?
- Is it helping me live an internal driven life where I measure my success by my own accomplishment vs others?
- Am I addicted to it? If my account gets blocked one day, will I lose my quality of life?
- Is this product giving me durable happiness or just dopamine hits?
Let us go through all the popular social media products and see where I stand now.
- Facebook: Deleted.
- Instagram: Had installed once long back to put filters on my Facebook photos. Had deleting it long back.
- Snapchat: Had installed it once to try out the product. Deleted it when I realized it was not relevant for any of my use cases.
- Clubhouse: Installed it for a week. Not for me. Deleted.
- Twitter: A year back I used to post around 1000 tweets per month ~ 30 posts per day. Any interesting thing I used to find, I used to share with my followers. I am still pretty active on this platform. But I hope I can cut down over time.
- Quora: I was a power user once, but had not posted anything in years. The only reason I did not delete the account was that my old travel blog was still active there where I used to check out my old posts/photos occasionally. Nostalgia amirite? I finally decided to stop living in the past and delete it.
- Reddit: I spend hours on it. I have not posted there. Ever. My problem is not information overload. I spend most of my day reading anyway, so I don’t mind where my daily content comes from. What I don’t want is an addiction to dopamine hits. Start living my life by looking at others. Or get sucked into creating a social media persona that is tailored towards pleasing others. So for now my Reddit account will stay.
- Blind: I visit periodically. A lot of people shit on Blind because they think the users are a prime example of toxic entitled Silicon valley brats. For me, I would rather read views from people who are not filtering their views than virtue signaling Twitter thought leaders.
- WhatsApp: It was a simple chat tool before dear Zuck decided he needed to stuff stories down our throats. I did not have Whatsapp for a long period of my life, before succumbing to it when I joined Gojek. A lot of Gojek conversations, especially non-Engineering, used to happen on Whatsapp and there was no way I could live without it. Now that we have moved exclusively to Slack I can revisit my decision of keeping Whatsapp. For now, I have left all groups unless it is critically important for me. Also muted all stories.
- LinkedIn: I still go there occasionally out of habit but I have unfollowed everyone so my feed is empty except for a few ads. I can’t wait to be successful enough in life to delete my Linkedin account and never have to open it again.
- Medium: Deleted.
- YouTube: I think it is fine for now.
- About me: Deleted.
- Tamatar news: Deleted. It was a satire blog I used to run once; probably my only accomplishment in college.
- Solitary Wankers: My Quora travel blog is still up - minus my content. It looks like that deleting your account only deletes your own posted content and not the blogs you started.
I obsessively monitor the digital wellbeing app on my Android phone and see where I am spending my hours.
Relevant read on this topic: Digital Minimalism - Cal Newport