A whole lot of disconnecting going on.
New Year’s resolutions are often made and rarely kept. But at the very least, they’re a revealing window into what we would like to change about our lives.
And after an informal survey of Recode readers and employees, there’s a very clear theme this year: In 2018, we want to be less plugged in. Some people just want to use certain services less than they do now, while others architected ways to disconnect more dramatically.
“Less tech,” reader Chip Roberson wrote in via email. “Some analog/manual systems are just easier to use and maintain. … On balance, tech seems to be complicating life, not making it simpler.”
Reader Linda Rosewood had a simple but wise idea: Removing her credit card number from the personal information saved by her web browser “to limit impulse purchases.”
Recode’s Senior Social Media Editor Kurt Wagner said he wanted “less screen time before falling asleep,” resolving to read more instead. Meanwhile, Senior Copy Editor Elizabeth Crane has decided 2018 will be the culmination of her resolution this year, to cut the cord with her cable company.
“I had to keep ‘the cable’ for internet,” Crane said. “So I’m thinking 2018 will be the year I upgrade from cable to fiber.”
My own New Year’s resolution is also a continuation of sorts: Earlier this year, I mostly quit Facebook and came out of the experience much happier for it. In 2018, my resolution is to audit all of the other digital addictions in my life — especially Twitter and YouTube — and either quit if I find them to be largely harmful or set firm limits on how much time I can waste on them.
Too Embarrassed to Ask co-host Lauren Goode isn’t planning to quit email or any other major services, but she is embarking on a plan to make her email-addicted life more sane.
“I plan to unsubscribe from every service I’m not really using and attempt to delete accounts from ones I’m really never going to use again,” Goode said. “Deleting accounts can be a lot harder, and sometimes requires sending notes directly to customer service about it, but it can be gratifying to know you don’t have some random internet account out there still in existence.”
“Today, I unsubscribed from Land’s End,” she added. “I can’t possibly remember the last time I bought something from Land’s End.”
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