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Revamp your digital life

by Jersey Denise Manahan

The air is crisp, and the calendar flips to a new year. With cocoa in hand, you feel ready to conquer the world and start working on your New Year’s resolutions. As you work on resolutions for yourself, school, work, and whatever that may be, it is also an opportune moment to reflect on your relationship with technology. Digital devices are seamlessly integrated into our daily lives, and we forget our sole responsibility to have a greener and more sustainable future. Establishing mindful technology resolutions enhances our well-being and productivity. Therefore, take “New Year, New Me” to a different level in 2024 with these technology resolutions.

1. Social Media Detox. Social Media Detox is not a new concept, and while you may have easily given up on your detox before, this is your sign to give it another try. Our constant connectivity, while it is a blessing, can overshadow genuine human interactions. Consider allocating specific days or weeks for a social media detox.

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What to do: A weekend detox is an excellent place to start. It’s not too long that you lose grasp of the digital world, but it’s enough to recharge, which makes detoxing possible. During these periods, focus on reconnecting with people and the real world. You can also do activities that enrich your life offline. You can go for a nature walk, try baking focaccia or banana bread, or starting a new show.

2. Regularly back up your photos and videos. Photographs and essential documents are invaluable, so we have difficulty letting go of them. Thankfully, we can back up our files through various storage applications to ensure we don’t lose them.

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What to do: Dedicate specific days each month or every two months to back up your data. For example, you can spend the last day of the month going through your files to choose which ones you want to keep. Delete duplicate files and back up your files using Google Photos, OneDrive, iCloud, and more. Whether using cloud storage solutions or external hard drives, consistent backups safeguard you against unforeseen data losses.

3. Fact-Checking. The digital world is flooded with billions of pieces of information. However, not all of this is accurate. Create a habit of fact-checking before sharing or believing news. When you read the news, question it and read up on it. It may seem like a lot of work, but that’s better than falling victim to misinformation and eventually spreading disinformation yourself.

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What to do:Sarah Blakelee’s CRAAP Test is a good way to verify information. The CRAAP Test stands for Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. It is mainly used in academic research papers, but you can use this test as a rough guide to decide whether or not your reading is factual. Encourage a culture of accuracy and critical thinking within your digital circles.

4. Practice Think Before You Click. The “Think Before You Click” campaign sounds like a broken record to most people nowadays, but it’s still a highly effective practice. Just like in real life, there are etiquette we have to follow in social media. Social media etiquette refers to the practices that govern appropriate behavior on social media.

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What to do: Interact with others respectfully and appropriately. The world is not simple, and we have differing opinions, so learn to converse politely with someone on social media. Refrain from using personal attacks, offensive language, and cyberbullying. We should also respect privacy and boundaries by not sharing personal information without permission. This includes screenshots of someone’s posts and private messages.

Moreover, avoiding the spread of misinformation or fake news is a huge part of the etiquette. We should also make it a point to credit sources when sharing content that is not ours. This helps avoid copyright issues and gives proper attribution to creators. Familiarize yourself with basic social media etiquette to make the digital world a better place for every user. For fake news and scams, check out our Scam Watch posts on Facebook (@MBTechnews).

5. Enhance Security. Online scams continue to grow by the day, but that doesn’t mean you cannot do anything about it. There are various ways to avoid getting scammed, starting with vigilance. MB Tech News’s Scam Watch gives insights into scamming techniques and how to spot them.

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What to do: You can prioritize your online security by implementing two-factor authentication across social media platforms. Some people consider it a hassle, but it is extra work that goes towards protecting your account and data. Additionally, it’s a good idea to refresh your passwords annually, especially for your online banking apps, as this adds an extra shield against potential breaches. Your digital safety is paramount; invest time in fortifying it.

6. Digital Declutter. Even though it’s intangible, our digital devices can quickly become cluttered with unnecessary notifications, emails, and apps.

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What to do: Unsubscribe from irrelevant newsletters. Most people need to be made aware of the fact that emails have a carbon footprint as well. This means that for every email we send and receive, we contribute to the carbon emissions of the tech world. Deleting emails does reduce the carbon footprint. Doing so can save millions of gigabytes of storage space, equivalent to around 50 million kilowatts of power.

We should also consider deleting redundant apps and organizing your digital files. A clutter-free digital space fosters clarity and efficiency.

7. Sustainable Tech Usage. It’s easy to get enticed with technological advancements and trends, but we must evaluate our consumption patterns.

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What to do: Before you cave in to buy the hottest gadget, thoroughly assess its necessity. Do I really need the newest iPhone? Is it time to change my laptop? If your device is still functional, maximizing its usage is best instead of replacing it with a new one.

8. Eco-Friendly Initiatives. Our digital activities have impacts on the environment. According to Mike Berners-Lee’s The Carbon Footprint of Everything, emails cause 1.4 billion CO2 per year. Luckily, we can harness technology to champion environmental causes. Platforms like Ecosia, a search engine that plants trees with searches, utilize ad revenues to plant trees. Ecosia transforms your online searches into ecological benefits.

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What to do: Consider switching your search engine to Ecosia. They plant one tree in exchange for 45 searches. Another eco-friendly initiative is GForest by GCash. It gives users a chance to contribute to the reforestation of the Philippines. Globe explains, “For every Globe transaction or eco-friendly activity done via the app, you gain green energy in the GForest section. The green energy can then be used to plant a tree.”

You can search for more eco-conscious apps and platforms that channel funds towards sustainable projects.

9. Limit Screen Time. It’s no wonder our screen time can go for an average of 9 hours daily. Consequently, excessive screen exposure can strain our eyes and minds. Excessive screen time has been proven to have a negative effect on children’s development, and yet, we see a lot of kids glued to their gadgets.

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What to do: Establish boundaries by setting daily screen time limits on your gadgets, especially during the evenings. When it comes to children, it’s easy to get dependent on devices to occupy their time, but consider opting for tech-free alternatives like interactive books and toys. Prioritize activities promoting mental rejuvenation, such as reading, meditating, or hobbies.

Sustainability At Its Finest

The dawn of a new year beckons us to rethink our digital activities. Integrating these technology resolutions into your life optimizes your well-being and fosters a secure, more informed, and sustainable digital community. The advancement of technology is a gift, so let’s embrace the transformative power of mindful tech usage and embark on an enriched and greener journey in 2024. With the advent of technology, we can definitely achieve a more sustainable, better, and hopefully more wholesome 2024.

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Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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