Simple Living desk-setup_tomas-carillo2

Published on August 15th, 2011 | by Guest Contributor

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5 Ways to Simplify Your Virtual Life

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More and more people are consciously turning to simple living as a reaction against materialism and mass consumption. We try to live slowly, to reduce and reuse, to lead sustainable lifestyles but in an age when all of us have online presence, it is time to accept that virtual and real lives are parts of one entity and to finally adapt some of the advice we have heard about simple living to our virtual lives as well.

And although some proponents of simple living renounce the use of technology, it actually plays a vital role in the quest for achieving a simple, greener life, allowing for less reliance on paper and reducing the individual’s carbon footprint. Yet, in order to let cutting-edge technology contribute to leading a more sustainable lifestyle, we need to consciously simplify our approach to it in the first place.

1. De-clutter Your Computer

You can de-clutter not only your rooms and drawers. Think of your computer as your virtual home and you will easily identify the spaces you need to clear up.

Go through your folders, one by one and purge files and applications you don’t need, or haven’t used in ages.

[CC Image by Thomas Carillo]

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  • http://on.fb.me/lynnminneydesigns Lynn

    Great tips! Hootsuite can be a very useful tool when managing multiple social media platforms.

    • http://importantmedia.org/members/karenl/ Karen Lee

      Lynn, I also use HootSuite and it’s a great platform for managing multiple accounts! I love it!

  • http://www.judifitzpatrick.com Judi FitzPatrick

    Your timing is perfect – Been de-cluttering the computer/external drives (still more to do), just got out of a couple of online sites I no longer use, have unsubscribed to tons of newsletters, etc.
    Thanks for the reminder and other ideas!
    Peace, Judi

    • http://importantmedia.org/members/karenl/ Karen Lee

      Judi, I’ve unsubscribed from 90% of newsletters and blogs recently. I use Google Reader now and I don’t know how I lived without it. If I don’t want to read certain feeds, one click of a button takes care of all of them!

    • http://blog.kanelstrand.com/ Kanelstrand

      Since I started using Google Reader some years ago, my online life has become so much more peaceful and organized! And even so, I had to declutter!

  • http://florestanisstudio.typepad.com Carmen

    Even though stacks of unanswered or pending emails and newsletters don’t really take up any physical space I still feel them dragging me down – like dust bunnies under the bed! Thanks so much for the decluttering ideas!

    • http://importantmedia.org/members/karenl/ Karen Lee

      I know what you mean! I am compelled to clean out my bookmarked folders, unfriend and unlike on facebook and go through Twitter and unfollow those that I don’t care about weekly.

      • http://blog.kanelstrand.com/ Kanelstrand

        Karen and Carmen, I have to point out that this utter resentment of chaos and the willingness to organize and finish everything is considered by ALL men typical female behavior. By the way, according to research women are better at gaming exactly because they have the patience and the motivation to get to the end… and I must admit, I love a clean inbox!

  • http://www.myrecycledbags.com RecycleCindy

    Outstanding post and great tips that we should all take a moment to read. Sometimes reading something that one should be doing is a good reminder to take action. Move away from that computer and enjoy life!

    • http://importantmedia.org/members/karenl/ Karen Lee

      Thanks Cindy! It is a great reminder, isn’t it? On a related note, I was about to move away from my compu0ter when I read your comment! Thanks for reading this post before moving away from yours. LOL….

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