Have a better 2022 with these tech resolutions

Muting notifications feels a little uncomfortable: what if you miss something important? But almost everyone I spoke to said something about this concern: How will people who need to go to you know, whether it’s by text or phone call. Your mental health and attention will thank you.

Celebrate Digital Cleanup January. If you feel ambitious, take a page from my colleague Tate Ryan-Mosley, a journalist on digital rights and democracy. She will celebrate her fourth annual Digital Cleanup in January, where she spends four weeks cleaning up every part of her digital life: emails, files, security and phones.

Here’s how it works:

In Week 1, Tate “massively cleanses” her emails, unsubscribes from newsletters and other listings that do not serve her and deletes emails that she will never read. He also spends a day reaching out to people who may have emailed him and to whom he has not yet responded. The New Year is a good time to revive connections and allow Tate to start new conversations with the people she cares about.

Week 2 Dedicated to file organization: Clear files in the cloud, on the desktop and on any drive and place them where they belong. “It’s my favorite week,” says Tate. “But in the end, you feel like you’ve accomplished something.” Tate’s advice? Do not sort files by date, but by general category. And consider the file organization as the actual function, as it is. She says, “If I’m really waiting for a meeting, or setting aside an hour and really listening to music, I’ll take a break from work,” she says.

Week 3 Tate’s digital cleanup is dedicated to security. It passes through each sensitive personal account and creates a new unique password using the password manager LastPass. Tate is also using Google this week to get rid of sensitive information such as his personal phone number and address, which may be floating on the Internet. Tate swears to docs yourself through the New York Times Guide, available here, which gives clear instructions on how to protect your private information online.

Week 4 According to Tate, the most fun. She takes this week to clean up the backlog of photos on her phone, delete apps that don’t serve it, and reset the home screen. “The good thing is I don’t have to be at my desk to do this,” he says. “I’m probably waiting in line or watching TV.” Tate also takes the time to close her instructions this week (see above).

For Tate, Digital Cleanup January is not necessarily fun. How many resolutions are there? But when the calendar rotates in February, she has achieved a ton. “I feel pretty good for the rest of the year,” he says. “And until December, I can’t wait to handle it all again. I like what I feel afterwards. ”

Finally, remember that there is a whole world outside of tech. At one time, people did not crane their necks on their phones, practicing certain thumb flicks to constantly scroll through social media. Read some books Others chat with people around them અથવા or just get out of the zone for a while.

Cal Newport, a professor of computer science at Georgetown University, strongly advocates improving your relationship with technology, especially when it’s not really necessary. “It helps when you use tech towards important things,” he says. “When you use it as a default distraction from unpleasant thoughts or experiences, it can be a problem.” So keep the phone down and feel those feelings, whether it’s boredom, sadness or anxiety. It can make you feel a little more humane again.

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