During my recent holidays, I realized that I am not absorbing much of all the information that the internet constantly pours over me. Usually, I have several tabs open (mailboxes, news, social media sites, blogs,..) which continuously pour out information - and usually I can only scroll through and try to catch a few grains here and there. Still, it started taking me too much time, so I decided to do some major cleaning to start the year fresh.
Here's a few information channels that got clogged up with random noise:
I seem to have a constant stream of newsletters flowing into my mailbox, from every possible store I've ever visited and every company I've ever used a service from. Usually, I just delete these message without even opening them - but it still generates a lot of mail. And it still triggers me to check my mailbox (too) often to see if there's a new shiny thing in there. I now am opening every unwanted mail, and unsubscribing or marking these messages as spam (if it's not possible to unsubscribe).
2. Blog subscriptions
After not reading my Google Reader for a week, I had almost 300 posts to weed through. I realized that some (even most) subscriptions did not match my current interest anymore. For a while, I followed a lot of fashion blogs, learning how to put together a nice outfit from cheap stores and thrift stores. I also followed frugality blogs for a while, to get my personal finance together. Then, I also followed exercise and nutrition blogs. For all of these, I reevaluated the situation. I now only kept the subscription to blogs of which I still enjoy reading almost every single post, and I am very thankful for everything I learned through blogs or categories of blogs which I am not actively following anymore.
With over 800 likes and over 500 friends, my facebook had turned into a museum of myself - and not a platform for interaction. I've significantly reduced the number of friends to people I genuinely interact with, and I'm working on reducing the number of likes. Hopefully, in a few months I'll have a newsfeed without much noise in it again.
Likewise, my Twitter account was turning into an archive of past interests and memories. I've made some space in my following list, so I can focus again on the information I'm really after, and make some space for new ideas.