Hello all! Today I’m dropping in to make you aware of some changes to the blog. Also, I wanted to talk a little bit about minimizing one’s online presence in general, which has been a focus of mine lately.
Changes on Just to Claireify
If you’ve followed me for a bit, you might notice a few changes that have occurred on the blog recently:
- My personal posts–mostly those related to wedding planning, as I rarely write about other personal subjects–are now password protected. If you’d like to read them, feel free to contact me for the password.
- My fiance is now referred to exclusively as “E.” He’s never taken issue with me writing about him before, but I decided to make this change for privacy reasons. Going forward, my other friends and family will be referred to similarly.
- All photos showing our faces have been removed from public posts.
- I no longer have a blog twitter account. (Or a personal one, for that matter.)
- My blogging Instagram account is private.
As I’ve continued my minimalist journey, I’ve realized that while many bloggers build their blogging communities around their personalities and lifestyles, that’s not me. By nature, I am an introverted and private person. I want to blog about a few choice topics related to simple living–Internet use and privacy being one of them, which is why I am writing this post–but most of them do not pertain to my personal life.
Also, I’ve never liked Twitter. So why bother? It’s not like I make a living off of my blog, anyways. I breathed a sigh of relief as I deactivated my accounts, which will both be deleted permanently in a few days.
Minimizing My Online Presence
Depersonalizing my blog, closing accounts, and upping my privacy settings is only part of what I’ve been doing to minimize my online presence. Some other steps I’ve taken include:
- Defriending 500+ people on Facebook over the past few years. High school “friends” (read: people I never even talked to) got drunk in a bar last weekend and posted ridiculous bathroom selfies? Defriend. Obnoxiously woke college “friend” spamming my feed with political news articles? Defriend. I see no need to remain Facebook friends with people who I do not like or will never contact again. Sure, I could keep them around “for networking purposes” in the future, but I’d rather just simplify.
- Deleting embarrassing old Facebook posts, comments, likes, etc. This one has taken a while, but I’m a solid 60% done deleting pretty much everything from 2009-2016. I found some real gems in there, y’all. I LOL’d and texted my best friend of 15 years, N, as I worked through the oldest ones, so we could laugh about our middle school selves together.
- Deleting unused social media profiles, like my personal Twitter account, Google+ profile, and YouTube account.
- Deleting my three previous blogs.
- Removing 100+ spammy followers from my personal Instagram account.
- Starting to submit requests to remove myself from data brokers’ websites. This is by far the most difficult task to accomplish on this list!
- Starting to submit requests to remove outdated links from Google search results.
What’s my ultimate goal? To be honest, I’m not quite sure.
In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo expresses two ideas that I think apply to our digital lives as well as to our physical possessions. First, she says:
The process of facing and selecting our possessions can be quite painful. It forces us to confront our imperfections and inadequacies and the foolish choices we made in the past… [but] if we acknowledge our attachment to the past and our fears for the future by honestly looking at our possessions, we will be able to see what is really important to us.
So partly, I think, I’m minimizing my online presence because similar to minimizing my physical possessions, it’s difficult but cathartic. When I choose to throw away the miniskirt I bought before college, I’m not just throwing away a piece of fabric. I am acknowledging that the dream I had for myself when I purchased it–to become a cool, glamorous, party-going girl–never transpired, and that I’m now a different person with different dreams.
When I deleted my old blogs, I experienced similar emotions. When I created those websites, I wanted to become someone who was comfortable sharing their personal life online. Who had a fascinating, Pinterest-perfect life worth sharing and build a community around my lifestyle. As I scrolled through old posts, I faced the fact that I am not and will never be that person. And that’s okay. Hitting “delete” helped me close that chapter of my life for good.
Marie Kondo also says:
As you reduce your belongings through the process of tidying, you will come to a point where you suddenly know how much is just right for you. You will feel it as clearly as if something has clicked inside your head and said, ‘Ah! This is just the amount I need to live comfortably. This is all I need to be happy. I don’t need anything more.’
I don’t know when I will get to that point. I feel like I am very nearly there in terms of physical possessions, but I still can’t see the finish line when it comes to my digital life. That’s okay! I’ll get there eventually. I know that I won’t be getting another smartphone after my current one breaks, I’d like to delete my Pinterest account eventually, and I’d like to delete my Facebook account, too. But the time isn’t here for those changes yet.
And then there’s the whole issue of privacy. But I think this post is long enough as it is! Maybe I’ll check in later this week to write about that.
I’d love to know your thoughts about anything in this post! Please comment if you have anything on your mind–I’ve only recently become interested in Internet use and online presence and your opinions are SO welcome.