Letting Go of Things

It struck me recently that I’m surrounded by a world of things I don’t really need. Miscellaneous gadgets, books, pens, pencils, computers, tablets, phones, wires, chargers, memory sticks, hard drives, and so on.
I need to have a serious de-clutter.

Do I really need the old netbook computer any more? No. What about the Moleskine notebook that I’ve not written in for the last six months? No. How about the Filofax that has sat in the bottom of my bag for the last two weeks? No. I don’t really even need the old desktop computer at home that I invariably sit at while writing blog posts. The monitor is third hand, and is starting to fail anyway.

It’s not just material things though – it’s memberships of all the so-called “social” things on the internet too. Do I need accounts at both Instagram and Flickr? No. Do I need a blog at WordPress, and at Tumblr? No. What about keeping ridiculously neat lists of blogs you follow at WordPress, Feedly, and BlogLovin? Madness.

I need to start stopping things, if that makes any sense. Concentrate on being present in perhaps one or two social things, and stick to just two or three things in my bag – maybe just the phone, the tablet, and the Chromebook. Nothing else.

I’ve been tempted to dump the smart phone for a few months and see how I get on with an old “candy bar” phone – I’m only too aware the reason I haven’t read a book in months is the damn phone. For half an hour after going to bed I will flip through news stories, read emails, and vanish down social network rat-holes. Years ago I would have read books during that time. Good books.

I try to convince myself that the smart phone has a great camera – that I would miss taking photos of things along the way. I don’t curate those photos though – I share them, and they join the two mile high pile of stuff I’m dragging along behind me in the cloud. I’m wondering if it might not be better to go back to a camera, and actively curate the photos I have taken when storiing them, instead of the camera automatically throwing everything into a digital dustbin all day long.

Who knows – perhaps the first generation to embrace the “social internet”, and the various gadgets connected to it will also be the first generation to reject it.

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