Master of My Own Domains
When I think back on all the user logins, passwords, form fields, guest accounts, uploads, downloads, etc. that I have created over the years, I start to feel strangely sad. This sadness is quickly followed by a light nausea, and a feeling of hopelessness. The sheer number of forgotten passwords and dead accounts that I’ve abandoned is staggering. I can only guess that I am among the top percentile of digital wasters.
What does that term really mean though? Is it even the right way to describe it? Better question: should I even care? My thought is that if it’s giving me recognizable anxiety, I probably shouldn’t ignore it. I feel I have one of two options: make an effort to take control of my mess, OR the take the “out of sight out of mind” approach. Really though, this is just one small piece of a much bigger puzzle.
Here at Junction we have made it our business to take on certain elements of what we call Social Leadership, and many other aspects of internet/digital marketing outside of Social Media. Social Leadership is just what it sounds like, but it’s also a sugar coated way of saying, “We’ve made ourselves really good at this, so you don’t necessarily have to be.”
A quick disclaimer: We love what we do. Period.
Each one of us here can relate to what I was saying to kick this little rant off. Collectively we all have varying amounts of internet trash, but we can all agree that the very thought of it has a similar effect on us: a palpable amount of stress at times. Doing what we do for a living can also mean that we forget to tend to these items on a personal level, because it’s what we are doing full-time for all of our clients. ie. if you are a Chef, when you get home the last thing you probably want to do is make dinner, but that doesn’t mean your family can go without it.
Whether you do what we do for work, or you are just a ‘regular citizen’ trying to navigate your way through the modern digital landscape, it can be stressful. Case in point: my father. Though he knows how to navigate the Internet with relative calm and does what he can to keep himself organized, I’ve personally watched him have small meltdowns from something as simple as trying to remember his username/password for Amazon. This actually brings me to my second point, hardware device anxiety.
Again speaking about my own Father. He carries a company Blackberry, a travel Blackberry, and an iPod Touch with him. Everywhere. And all three are not entirely out of choice, obviously. The world is telling us that it is no longer enough to just have our home computer logged into Facebook a couple of times a week. What we really need is to also be logged in on a personal portable device that we have with us at all times. While you’re at it, why not follow the tablet craze and log yourself in on that too. Don’t forget to also login to Instagram on all three, as well as Twitter, Evernote, Google (x10), your Apple ID, your Flipboard or something similar, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, any number of banking apps, Fitbit, Game Centre, Skype, Flickr… what about all my bookmarks? See? Stressful.
Not only is all of this highly overwhelming, it’s becoming the expected social norm to have your devices charged and connected to all of these ‘services’ simultaneously. This really only scratches the surface. Think of all the services we have all left behind like Myspace, Yahoo, Friendster, Live Journal, and Geocities. All of this leaves small traces of us behind. Our digital ghosts, so-to-speak. Then start adding in all your current, and even future digital services/devices and the information they carry to the proverbial landfill or recycling bin. Is it because there is little to nothing physical to dispose of that we seemingly let it all slide? Or is it because we can hardly keep up?
If this has caused you a little anxiety just in reading it, that’s good. So now ask yourself the question I do, over and over: am I going to take leadership over my habits and try and clean up my digital trail of garbage? Or am I going to just pretend that it doesn’t exist?