If you read the last part, you know what I define as digital minimalism and how I started with my digital spring cleaning.
In this second part I want to talk about the process of minimizing or reducing all my accounts, social media networks, log-ins in different places, and more. So let’s dive in…
I’ve already talked about the why of digital spring cleaning. But now I want to focus on this exact part of deleting most of my accounts.
I had accumulated a lot of accounts over the years as a lot of you probably have as well. It is so easy to open new accounts without thinking to much about the real need of any given account. And that is actually the reason I started with this digital spring cleaning.
I wanted to be more consious about what accounts I really register for, that I already had, and what personal data was flying around within all of them. And in the end see how easy it actually is to delete these accounts. (Spoiler alert: not easy with many services! So think twice before registering anywhere).
Where to start
I started my second part of the digital spring cleaning with the biggies: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, iCloud, etc.
I quickly made a plan on what to keep and what to get rid off.
I knew I wanted to only keep and use one cloud storage solution. And because I exclusively work with Apple product now (MacBook, iPhone, iPad) I knew I just needed iCloud since there was no need for cross-platform-compatibility.
First big decision
This is why the first major account to leave was actually my Google account. Before that I had kept most of my stuff on Google servers like mail with Gmail, documents with Google Drive (as well as general file cloud storage), photos, even calendar, contacts, and more was with Google.
But as I dove deeper into privacy and data protection I thought more and more about switching to iCloud. Because as I said I just use Apple devices and I think Apple’s privacy is somewhat ahead of Google in the sense that Apple is not in the data selling business like Google is.
Funnily enough a couple of years later I had to actually create another Google account because I started a little business with YouTube which, of course, requires a Google account. So in the end I still use Google. But I keep all my personal data in iCloud. On Google I just keep business related data.
Getting all the data from Google to iCloud back then was a long process. Just photos alone took some time to get out of Google and into iCloud photo.
Email, calendar and contacts were simpler. So were documents.
Deleting more accounts
After Google I immediately got rid of Facebook. I hadn’t used it very much and I was sure I didn’t need it. And to this day I don’t regret that decision.
Then I got rid of Twitter, LinkedIn.
The only social network I kept was Instagram because I used that frequently and I also like it. Of course, it also belongs to Facebook. So they have your data anyways. Meaning: If you want to keep Facebook then do 🙂
After the social accounts I went on to email.
Deleting email accounts
Over the years I had created a number of email addresses. It became hard to keep up with that. So I tried to sort out which I really needed. I had a couple of email accounts that were mainly for my social networks. These were easy to delete now.
I also got rid of a few very old ones. Other than ads I didn’t get any emails there anyways.
What I was left with were two personal email accounts, two for work, and nowadays a new Gmail address as I said earlier. But that’s it.
I was pretty happy with that progress. The next thing to tackle were various website log-ins.
But that is coming in part 3 of my digital spring cleaning & digital minimalism series. Stay tuned!