Category: Digital Pollution

How to Unclog Your Digital Life

In our private lives, most of us live a lot in the Digital World – maybe it’s dealing with emails, streaming TV, catching up on social media, watching a movie or YouTube video, communicating with friends and family and for home admin etc.

There is a lot of good content on the Internet, but there is also a huge amount of digital pollution – consider spam messages, scams, pointless emails, pointless websites, celebrity trivia, fake news, fake reviews, meaningless social media etc.

This all clogs up our email systems, social media feeds and the Internet generally and wastes so much of our precious time.

It will also have an effect on us, it’s becoming harder to tell the fake news from the facts, harder to spot the fake reviews, the phishing emails and more. We have to put in more effort and be more vigilant against the tidal wave of digital pollution clogging up our lives.

But, you don’t have to let it take-over your life. The suggestions below can help you to unclog that digital world.

  • Email
  • Clean your inbox and unsubscribe from polluting newsletters that you don’t read.
  • Only cc and bcc people when really necessary.
  • Send lighter emails – you can use services such as WeTransfer if you need to send large files to someone.
  • Set your email system to only check for new emails every hour or two rather than every 5 minutes as used by many.
  • Social Media
  • Turn off notifications. You don’t need to know the second someone gives you a Facebook like.
  • Restrict your access to social media to specific short periods each day.
  • Only post useful content and only read useful content, not the blathering of the stupid.
  • Don’t chase likes or Friends – it is empty and leads to people posting endless rubbish.
  • The social media companies don’t pay you so don’t keep creating content and viewing content on their behalf. (some people do earn money from YouTube etc. of course).
  • Don’t bother following or reading about celebrities – they know as little as most people and have nothing to offer worthwhile.
  • Mobile Phones
  • Turn off sound notifications – you don’t need to know the second a message arrives.
  • At night, put the phone on charge in a different room to where you sleep and turn it off.
  • Don’t use ring tones that may annoy others, especially if you’re travelling by trains and buses.

Take back control of your digital life – don’t let it control you.

Do let us know by email, how you unclog your digital life.

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The Effect of Digital Pollution

We’re all aware of pollution in our environment, but there is a less obvious form of pollution being created in vast amounts – digital pollution. Consider spam messages, scams, pointless emails, pointless websites, meaningless social media etc.

It all clogs up our email systems, social media feeds and the Internet generally and is a huge time-waster and for some can result in financial loss.

Digital pollution can make it more difficult to separate the valuable from the rubbish. It is a form of pollution where we are constantly assailed by advertising, spam, fake news, scam products and more endless rubbish. Here are some worrying statistics on spam messages.

  • Approximately 14 billion spam emails are sent every single day
  • Spam accounts for 45% of all emails sent
  • 36% of all spam is some form of advertising

Personal Effect

This clearly depends on each person and how we deal with the Digital World and its pollution. It can lead to increased anxiety for some who struggle to sort out the rubbish from the valuable, financial loss for those taken in by scams, a great deal of time wasted for most and in some cases neuroses as people believe what they see on social media and compare their lives negatively to what’s represented.

We all need to take responsibility for removing as much of the pollution from our digital lives as we can and certainly not to created digital pollution in other people’s lives.

Effects on Society

For many people, tweets, posts and everything else on social media is irrelevant and they cannot be affected by Russian introduced fake news, political campaigning targeted at specific groups etc. But for most of us there is an effect caused by the torrent of misinformation and downright lies that can spread so quickly on social media, particularly at important times such as elections.

Will this undermine society?

You can make your own mind up, but it’s certainly not a positive effect.

Impact on Business

Businesses have had to learn to use social media to be in contact with their customers and in most cases that is a good effect, but it does open up methods of manipulation such as the offering of rewards by some companies for people who give their products good reviews.

Digital Pollution certainly huge amounts of peoples time and this can only lead to lower productivity.

Endless interruptions by your phone for notifications, messages, updates etc. can seriously interfere with your ability to get the job done.

How to Reduce the Effect of Digital Pollution on You

  • Delete old emails, organise the ones you need by folder, unsubscribe from any services or newsletters that you never read.
  • Send lighter emails – use services such as WeTransfer for sending emails with large attached files.
  • Don’t download more movies or TV programmes than you can watch or use.
  • Don’t spend a lot of time watching pointless YouTube videos.
  • Restrict your use of social media to when you don’t have a lot of genuine work to do.
  • Use disposable email addresses when signing up for online services. Then you can delete any disposable addresses that attract spam.
  • Download movies and programmes rather than streaming where it is practical so you can watch again without further streaming.
  • Only watch programmes on Live TV that are useful – not whatever rubbish happens to be broadcast at the time.

Control your digital life.

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Digital Pollution Table

The Digital World is increasingly polluted with lies, scams, endless Marketing and general rubbish – spam, fake products, fake services, fake news, falsified reviews, idiots pouring out meaningless drivel onto the Internet to satisfy their own egos, celebrity trivia and more and all of this drowns out the useful, helpful and honest content.

Some suggestions for positive and negative contributions in the Digital World

Positive

Negative

   
Meaningful reviews of products, services and companies Fake or inaccurate reviews or paid for reviews
Search Engine Optimisation

–          Honest backlinks

–          Structured Content

–          Honest, original content

–          Honest blog posts, articles etc.

Black SEO or cheat SEO

–          Paid for backlinks

–          False structuring

–          Faked content

–          Bought blog posts, articles etc.

Organic growth in friends, followers, likes etc. on social media Paid for growth in friends, followers, likes etc. on social media
Accurate advertising Misleading advertising
Truthful News Fake News
Useful comments on blogs, forums, websites etc. Spam comments on blogs, forums, websites etc.
   
Emails to one or a few people Emails cc’d to half the organisation
Useful newsletters Newsletters produced to a schedule with no discernible content
FACTS Opinions masquerading as Facts
Meaningful conversations Vacuous, nasty or shouting conversations

 

What would you add to the positive side or negative side or both? Let me know by email.

Stop Web Pollution

“Together we can make a better web” is the rallying cry of the website at www.stopwebpollution.org

We damage the environment very seriously. We create huge amounts of pollution in the air, the seas and on land and it is endangering our future safety and prosperity.

However there is a less obvious form of pollution being created in vast amounts – information pollution: spam messages, scams, pointless emails, pointless websites, pointless social media etc.

Some thoughts to consider:-

  • Exploiting search engine imperfection is not a business model.
  • Web forms were made for humans. Don’t let robots do the talk.
  • Don’t steal other people’s identities or act as someone you’re not.
  • Don’t let your adverts tell more than your content.
  • Don’t pretend to be an expert on a field you have no clue about.
  • Don’t hurt the web. Use open standards.
  • Add value. Make the web a better place.
  • Every piece of content belongs to someone. Respect that.
  • Use links for honest personal recommendation only. Don’t trade them.
  • Don’t speak if you have nothing to say.
  • Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
  • Share your knowledge.
  • Don’t infiltrate and spam social networking sites.
  • Don’t put music on your site unless you’re a musician and it’s your music.

Information pollution is an interesting concept – but how seriously can we take this?

Let me know what you think on this matter

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How to Unclog Your Digital Life

The Digital world can be fun, entertaining, instructive, informative and wonderful, but also sad, nasty, destructive and dangerous and every other emotion and purpose you can think of.

We all create the content and services – good and bad but most people agree now that the Digital World  can be very stressful and many things that people use the most only add to the stress of modern living. E.g. Facebook is not designed to help you but to make money for the owners and deliberately stresses users with constant reminders, notifications and updates that only serve Facebook’s need for you to constantly use the service.

Unclog your digital life by taking simple actions to regain control.

  • Your smart phone is your servant not your master. Turn it off at night and whenever you can.
  • Set all APPS to no notifications – you don’t need to know the second an email arrives or someone on Facebook likes your page.
  • Uninstall /delete any programmes, services and APPS that aren’t genuinely useful to you.
  • Cancel all newsletters and anything similar that clogs up your email.
  • Unsubscribe from everything online you’re subscribed to unless you really cannot do without it.
  • Talk to real people – don’t avoid them by using text messages instead.
  • Make time to eat properly, not on the move rushing from one place to the next and no screens to look at while eating.
  • Make time to unwind before sleep and get a decent 7-9 hours sleep every night (phone turned off)
  • If you’re an avid game player – limit the time you spend on the games and never just before bedtime.
  • Practice mindfulness (with or without an APP)

Let me know your thoughts on the Digital World and the stress it puts us under and how we could learn to better manage it.

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