Digital Life

5 actions to deal with digital garbage

In the world of digital data, we have to deal with huge amount of data everyday. We have so much of content in the form of images, videos, documents, notes, subscriptions. Over period of time, they get irrelevant, obsolete, lose their value. We just want to keep few of them that are of importance for future usage or are associated with our emotional values.

Dealing with huge amount of data consume time, take a lot of memory and hence money. In other way it impacts our environment by consuming more power, resources and producing e-waste. Every now and then we have to keep upgrading your machines, and data that are kept there. Even though we keep some data in cloud storages, but the amount is limited for free tier and is not safe in true sense. Every email that we store in our mail server indirectly consume power and impacts our environment. Again, when you take backup of your large data, there is a chance of loosing some data in the process of data transfer if you are not careful, it happened to me few times.

The best thing is to reduce the amount of data and keep the important ones that you need. It has to be a regular exercise to do daily, weekly or monthly according to your convenience. I mostly do at monthly basis.

Here are 5 things I do.

Remove emails that are not necessary

Every day we receive lots of emails. Some are worth keeping, however most of them are not worth storing for future. You can make a habit of cleaning your emails every week. This helps in reducing space and energy requirement to store / search your emails. Your email box application hangs less frequently now because it has to deal with small number of emails.

Unsubscribe to unwanted websites

When you register to any online service or intentionally subscribe, they capture your email id to send tons of emails for their promotions, updates which can be overwhelming and after some time unwanted in some cases. They consume your inbox space, slowdown searching through emails, help decreasing your focus. Make sure to do that for SMS as well.

Remove unwanted photos and videos

Because of easiness and affordability of taking pictures, videos our habit of taking photos has multi folded by 1000 times compared 10 years before… This has led to higher space requirement. We are keeping our photos in our systems, external drives, online storage options.. But all of them lead to additional hardware, managing software, spending money to buy and maintain and ultimately resulting in e-waste. 

The question here is how many times do we go back and see those images? And do we love to see all that? If not, why to spend more time, money and energy to keep them. 

You can clean unwanted images, duplicate images, similar images once in a while, or optimize them to reduce space requirement to store them. 

Remove applications that you hardly have used in last 6months.

Be it’s our mobile phone or laptop, many of us has applications that use it for a need and then forget. These again take space and few of them may run in background to show notification and hence consume power. You can remove them now and install when you need them once again. 

Backup up project source codes

If you are like me – who keeps on creating a POC for every new thing that I learn, you probably aware of how it fills up your disc space. Its always a better idea to remove those code base and keep the minimal stuff that you probably need someday. Track such code bases, both in your system and in git repositories.. and clean them every 6months. 

There are tools to do such cleaning activity but developing micro habits for cleaning your work folders and thing that you done need is a better way to deal with these digital garbage problem. Do let me know your ways of dealing with it in the comments.