Simplifying Online Apps Again

This year is the year where I am going through and purging, getting rid of and simplifying things in my life. It is not just a one-time thing where you go through things, get rid of some stuff and then go back to collecting even more shit as time goes on.

Just changing old stuff for new stuff and not have it be all that much better most of the time.

Nope, simplifying my life is one of those ongoing things that I constantly am aware of and that I keep looking for parts and pieces that can be changed, improved, used differently or gotten rid of.

This week I took another look at my online life and unsubscribed, deleted my account or trashed some apps that I decided no longer interested me. Along with a bunch of email subscriptions that I have accumulated over the years that I look at and wonder why I subscribed when I did.

Some will surprise you.

First up:

Running Apps

My Strava account has been deleted.

While I do believe that Strava is the best of the online running logs, let’s be honest – I really do not need or use it for much of anything other than keeping track of some other runners that I know or know of and the occasional screenshot for the blog. When I thought about it the other day, I don’t really need to see how they are training and going through and simply “Liking” their runs is not really all that important to them or me. It is just another web application that gets free use of our running data.

It was time to get rid of it.

It is enough work to keep my Numbers Spreadsheet and this blog updated. Although I might make more effort to use Garmin Connect, now that I do not have Strava. I have a feeling that I also need to go back to Daily Mile and all those other old online running logs that I haven’t used in a few years and delete those accounts too.


Then I deleted all my news apps off my iPhone and iPad this afternoon, including Apple’s News App. This ability to read multiple sources/takes on the same issues 24/7 while great, is also a huge source of stress in many of our lives. I am going to go back to a bit slower and old fashioned way of receiving news. Once a day I will watch the evening news and listen to the radio when I am my truck.

If something important happens, I am sure that there will be enough hugh and cry that I will find out about it soon enough. When there are stories that I want to read about more indepth, Duck Duck Go will be able to find good sources (I almost always look for more than one perspective on important issues) for me to read the rest of the story.

I just don’t need to have a dedicated news app on my iPhone or iPad to get the latest notifications of all the sensationalist 24/7 news of the impending end of the world as we know it, which seems to be happening every hour of the day or so it seems.

No I am not burying my head in the sand, but I am getting rid of some of the clutter and unnecessary chatter that adds nothing but noise to the equation.

Social Media

Finally, I got rid of my Instagram account or at least I think I did – if the password worked. If it didn’t I will try again, but Instagram will go away one way or the other. I haven’t added photos to it in months, very seldom go in and do more than like a bunch of photos and then move on. It wasn’t important to me and did not add value to my online or social media experience.

To be honest, I really thought about getting rid of Facebook and then thought better of it. I have culled my friends list again and kept fewer people. The ones that I actually interact with, know in real life or are relatives who without Facebook, I wouldn’t keep in touch with. Although I have a feeling that at some point in the future that Facebook will outlive its usefulness to me and it will go away.

The reality is that

People need to remember that all these computer applications whether they are online or local are supposed to be tools that help us improve our lives, not rule them. Sometimes the developers, big corporations who data mine our online lives and ourselves forget that.

I do not need the web and I survived quite nicely without it for most of my life and while I prefer the advantages it gives me and understand that I need to give up my privacy in order to be a part of the web, my electronic devices do not rule my life.

I get to choose which ones are a part of my online life and get to delete and not use the ones that do not meet my needs. There may be more surprises as I move towards a simpler online profile.

Something to think about – isn’t it.

2 thoughts on “Simplifying Online Apps Again

  1. I have never been one to delete accounts … but pretty good at treating them that way :).

    Things like DailyMile, Strava, etc … know I have *some* accounts, not sure how many – don’t use any of them. Same with Vine, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, Google+, and who knows what else.

    News is definitely an issue – since I moved my work phone back to Android I have the news app giving very few notifications … sure I could have done that with my Apple News, but never did. But you are right – it is just too much and has the opposite effect (i.e. depressing).

    Instagram I like but mostly because I can get by on a few minutes per day and am pretty unforgiving about killing over-share accounts and slow to follow new people.

    Twitter is annoying, but allows me to compartmentalize most of my political discussions (sure I still share crap on FB, but have mostly given up engaging debates). Again, not too much time spent there.

    Facebook is the one that at once I would not give up, but is a constant push-pull around WHO I should have on my list and ensuring not spending too much time.

    You are right that we lived many, many years with no web, email, cell phones and so on – and even as an ‘early adopter’ that is true (though I have now HAD email & web longer than I did NOT have them and am pretty much even with cell phone in terms of years) … but so much has moved that way that it is an incredibly useful tool. BUT … that is what it is, a tool.

    I think that the annual reflection/introspection on the role of electronics and social media in our lives is a good and healthy and necessary thing – maintaining perspective on the role isn’t always easy, though.

    1. Yeah, plus sometimes it is better to keep an account and treat it like it was deleted, so no one can claim it and spoof you. Surprisingly, when I deleted the news apps, it was almost well a relief, I didn’t have to keep checking them and even though I went through a short news withdrawal. I do not miss the contentionness and take what I say as gospel kind of stuff that permeates the news today. I avoid the political and religious arenas on social medial for the most part – they serve little purpose and all it does is usually piss me off, when someone gets on a rant. I just move along for the most part when it comes to either of those two things on social media – although sometimes it is fun baiting trolls from something other than my primary account hehehee – not that I would ever do that.

      As we as a society throughout the world not just the U.S. grapple with how to best use the technological tools that are now available to us, it will be interesting to see where things are in 10 years. I still believe there is a lot of good in technology, it is the choice between Star Trek or Star Wars for the most part and which vision of the future is the path we take. Me – if I have to bet would believe something closer to Star Wars, based on world history.

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