Clean Up Your Act Online

Posted On Apr 24, 2014 By Rachel Weingarten

clean up your online life

I know, you're waiting for me to say something about April Showers, but I won't. Well, not really. Instead of offering tips to soap up or clean up the rest of your life, I'm thinking that it might be a great time to spend some time cleaning up your online life.

Many of us have been talking about this for the past few years, but does it suddenly feel as though everyone online is in a bad mood? Worse than that, doesn't it seem sometimes as though they're trying to take out their bad moods on the rest of us? I used to love reading the comments after a particularly interesting article. Now I barely give comments a second glance knowing that some with a grudge against the world might be spewing vitriol just for fun. So first on the list: Be nicer online. There. Don't you feel better already? Bite back that mean comment, reconsider before retweeting, and don't get pulled into online squabbles.

Some other ways to clean up or prune your online life:

  • Check in with the permissions of your social media accounts. Don't recognize an application or outlet? Revoke permission to it.
  • Same thing with your smartphone. Are endless apps draining your battery and attention span? Hit delete. It's an easy way to start your spring cleaning on a really small scale.
  • Tired of seeing the same snarky/political/abusive comments on a so-called online friend's Twitter feed? Unfollow them. That's the magic of Twitter. If you don't find someone interesting or can't stand their opinions, it's the virtual equivalent of just walking away.
  • Address your inbox. Last I checked, I had 14 contacts named Stephanie. And for the life of me I can't think of who 12 of them are. Deleting the names of people I don't know or can't remember will also ensure that I don't accidentally hit send to the wrong person.
  • And while we're on the subject of screens, maybe this is a great time of year to stop staring into the abyss of your smartphone or iPad and go for a walk or run or swim instead.