Yesterday I deactivated my Facebook account. Yes, I didn’t delete it yet, but I deleted my photo albums. I decided to be away from Twitter and Facebook this month inspired by Cal Newport’s book Digital Minimalism.
The thing is: there is so much information available on the internet and I don’t want to let an algorithm show me what to see. That’s why I always love [moderated] discussion forums. It’s theme focused and generally people there are looking for information and trying to help each other. Social media has some of it too, but 99% of it is just showing off.
I remember it was not used to be that way. It really was a more personal approach where we could connect and share ideas with close friends. Now it’s an ad driven world where quantity matters more than quality. I used to love social media. I joined the first “connect to friends” websites back when “social media” was not even a noun. I used to have an account at SixDegrees.com. It was launched 22 years ago. It was shut down in 2001. Then I used MySpace (not my favorite), Orkut (2007, I remember there were hundreds of useless groups and hate speech started to build there) and then, Facebook (2009).
At the beginning I used Facebook to connect to a group of international colleagues from a course I’ve taken abroad. Facebook was not about news or companies profiles. There were only people. There were ads, yes, but they were less obnoxious. At some point all these companies started to show up on Facebook and ads started to overflow our timelines. And then viral videos. And then the non-chronological timeline. That annoyed me a lot. A timeline where you had no control of. Then I started to realize something was wrong with Facebook and with what my contacts were publishing there. It was all fake. It was all just for show. And I include myself in this madness.
It’s time to stop the madness.
I’ve long deleted my timeline on Facebook, meaning: I don’t see anything on my timeline. I was occasionally logging to Facebook to check out some groups. And that’s all I did there.
I deleted my photo albums. And I’m still trying to delete my comments and likes but there’s no way to automate that. I have to go to every single post and delete it manually. I’m still searching for a better solution.
I wonder if I delete my account, all my data will be deleted or Facebook will still have that data in their servers. I wanted to do a full delete from their servers. I don’t know if that’s possible yet.
For now, I deactivated my account. I’ll be away from Facebook for 30 days.
I’ve been using Evernote for almost 10 years now! And because of a job change I was unable to use the desktop version on my computer so I started looking for alternatives. I tried Evernote Web at the time (this was last year) but the web version was full of bugs and many Evernote’s functionalities weren’t available yet. It was frustrating to try to use the web version.
So I started using Microsoft’s Onenote and I kinda liked it at the beginning. I enjoyed the notebooks structure without tags. And that actually made me realize that my Evernote tagging/notebook system was over complicated!
Recently, with the new web version and the ability that I have now to use the Evernote desktop version on my work computer, I decided to get back to the green elephant.
So a great decluttering began and it’s still ongoing…
My idea is to have a few generic tags and use notebooks for the major structure (just like Onenote). I think it’s easier to just file a note in a dedicated notebook than processing it and choosing tags. Tags can become very messy and out of control! And that’s exactly how my system is now! Totally out of control. So many random tags!
I’ll not use so many tags for references anymore. The search function on Evernote is so good that I don’t need perfectly organized tags.
I have notes that were automatically generated (using IFTTT) of every post I published on Instagram. I’ve deleted my Instagram a while ago already (and I have a backup of the pictures I posted). So I’ll delete a notebook called “Timeline” with 292 notes generated from Instagram in it.
This cleaning process will take a while. I’l handle the big ticket items first (like the Timeline notebook).
Deep inside I think I want a brand new Evernote account. Clean slate. Start again. So, that’s it! Purging mode on! I’ll make Evernote as clean as I can.
I also have some old notes from the time I used Evernote as my GTD system (including To-do lists), and I have notes for each action I had to do and now it’s completely useless. I’ll delete them all.
We had a sunny and warm day today!
I think it was the first warm of the year, actually. First weekend with temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius.
There was one thing I’ve been wanting to do for more than a year now: go bike in one of the roads they close on Sunday mornings.
I finally did it and it was great!
I knew I was bit out of shape to go for long bike rides so 20km was just about right.
It’s part of my morning routine because I think it’s a great way to wake my body up with a combination of stretching and strengthening. It’s a great way to train focus and breathing. I love it because I can do it anywhere! No need for shoes or equipment. I only need some space and a mat. Well, even a mat is not mandatory. I can do standing poses series if I happen to be somewhere where I can’t lay down on the floor.
Last year I started using an app called Down Dog for my yoga sessions at home. It was perfect for what I wanted: choose a duration and a style and just go with it without too much thought. Without the talk. Just a series that I could follow. And with variety and difficulty levels. I can do a relaxing slow session or an intense Vinyasa flow. It can be as short or as long as I want.
Along with meditation, Yoga is my sanity check. The thing that I do to ground myself. Adjust perspective. And be ready to face my day. It can also be the thing to calm my mind after a stressing day. Moving and breathing.
In these days of misinformation, fake news and click baits it’s good to have some initiatives to teach us how to navigate this messy digital information ocean (or hell…).
And Crash Course – Navigating Digital Information is an excellent way to learn about media literacy. The host is John Green, also known as the author of the novel “The fault in our stars” who, along with his brother, Hank Green, has this more than 10-years-old YouTube channel (Vlogbrothers).
Navigating Digital Information is a 10-episode series that was developed in partnership with the Poynter Institute Media Wise project based on research form the Stanford History Education Group.
The series covers topics like:
Lateral reading and fact checking
How to use Wikipedia (and how it is awesome!)
How to evaluate photos and videos
How to read charts and graphics (and how to be critical about them!)
How to know who to trust online.
I highly recommend this series to everyone that uses the Internet, no matter the age.