26 July 2015

Some Online Editing

The Iron Lady at Dusk // (Unrelated) Personal Picture

One of the benefits of downsizing, editing and culling is to have more time and energy to dedicate to what's left in our lives. That goes with material items of course, but also what to do with how we spend our time. Today, after some thought and planning, I have made a bit of digital editing. Here are a few thoughts if you'd like to do the same.

Social Media Accounts

Every new page, account and profile you create means you are going to dedicate some time to check it out, interact, update your own feed. We are tempted to open accounts on every social network that we discover. But a few years and many accounts later, fewer might be better after all.

Instead of using all of my accounts without thinking, I decided to go through some digital decluttering of sorts, after realizing just how much time I was spending in front of my computer every day.

Here is how I went though my social accounts:
  • What service/use does that social network offer?
  • What value do I get out of it?
  • How often do I really use it / how much time does it take me to keep updated?
  • Is this social network really unique for me?

After answering these questions, I decided to either:
  • Keep the page and commit to update it regularly enough to be of use to me and the people I'm connected to
  • Keep the page as a occasional tool: avoid spending too much time on it
  • Stop using the network 

For me the first step was obvious: one account per social media. Yes, I used to have several, one in English and one in French, for example. I have decided to unify those. As a consequence, some of the updates will be in French, others in English, but at least, I'll be updating these regularly. I'm also using my real name from now on: Florie. Here are the links of the main ones if you are interested:

For the rest of the social networks, some remain useful sources of information and self progress like Goodreads, or occasional tool, like Pinterest. I have decided to close those that don't bring me enough value, like Tumblr and Polyvore.

In the end, I still have quite a few social networks - and I'm not listing the ones I use only in French here. The goal isn't to have as few as possible, but rather to make sure the ones you have bring value, and that you have enough time to actually make use of them.

Blogging and such

Not all of you are bloggers, but there are so many ways to write and publish stuff online that I guess most of you may still be interested to hear a few words on this.

I really think this is an important question to ask, from long time bloggers to people looking to open their first blog. Why open a blog? To write about what? What does it bring to me as a blogger, and what value can I bring to potential readers?  Is the platform I'm using adequate, is the editorial line to my taste? How many blogs or other writing platforms is it relevant to keep updated?

Today, after carefully deciding what I wanted to write about and how, here is what I have:
  • This blog, the Nife en l'Air, about simplicity, happiness, growth (level up!) for English speakers
  • My French blog, for my writings in French, as well as cultural inspirations and my journey to a more optimistic and mindful living

I'm trying to publish articles at least once a week for each platform, more if I can, and to discuss with you guys through comments, social media or e-mail.

Other writing platforms include Medium, a great platform to write longer pieces. I only write in French there though, once to twice a month.

Other Online Editing

On the laptop, I have:
  • Deleted all the software/games/apps I'm not using
  • Set a time every day to use the computer, with a clear objective (update social media, write blog post, watch Youtube video, go through my feed...)
  • Found a drawer to put it into when I'm not using it. So it's not lying around and tempting me to look at "just this one thing"

 On the smartphone, I have
  • Deleted all the apps I'm not using (and put all the non-removable ones into a "junk" folder hidden on page 2)
  • Selected a few apps that I'm actually using regularly and bring me value - alarm, meditation app, music, weather...
  • Removed all the time consuming apps like news and social media (except Instagram)
  • Turned all notifications off (except for calls and SMS)

That's it for the little online editing post. I hope it was of use to you. Have you changed the way you consume social media and you digital devices at home since you started simplifying your life?


  1. Your thoughts are very timely as I ponder the value of Facebook for myself. For a few weeks, I am going to contact people directly via text or email, telephone or google hangout, when I want to let them know about a happening or alert them to my latest blog post (irregular and, at most, 1-2/month). After a few years of FB, it is beginning to seem stale. What service and value do I get out of it, indeed. Hope to know more through this experiment which I'll assess in late August.

    Really like your approach to analyzing what works and what needs to be tweaked in our lives; ditto the spiraling upwards concept.

    By the way, I've always wondered what the expression "dis donc" means & if people use it in ordinary conversation.
    Cheers, TinaPete

    1. I have seen much questioning around the facebook platform lately - compared to the early years (I've registrered in 2007 when I was in Japan to keep in touch with my friends who were all going back to their home country) - it has become much more of a product/brand territory, than one of connection between friends. I get facebook's need to make money, but we are way past the point where we users have become the product, instead of the clients. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this once you have experimented around...

      Good question about "dis donc", it is a very common expression and it actually has different meanings depending on context. It can mean "watch your mouth!" for example when a child swears and the mother says "dis donc!" to him. It can also express surprise, in a "what a story!" way. For example you hear, read about or see something very surprising and you say "eh bin dis donc..." It can also simply be a way to start a question, for example when you change the subject, or start a discussion after being silent for a while (for example at home with your significant other). It can be a sort of "by the way" thing, perhaps? For example, "Dis donc, have you called the company about the electricity bill?" It's a very rich expression actually, thanks for making me realize this :)

  2. Awesome writeup Kali, I did the same thing myself a while ago. Deleting apps off my phone and turning off notifications made such a huge difference when it came to how much time I spent on my phone! I still use it more than I would like to, but it's a work in progress. Like you I have also started putting away my laptop when I don't use it, although I slide it into my bookshelf where it blends inn with the rest of my books.

    I go through phases with some of my social media accounts - in theory I could delete Pinterest, Tumblr and Snapchat and Polyvore, but Pinterest drives some traffic to my blog, Polyvore is a good tool when I need it, Snapchat is my only way to really communicate with my younger sister (damn kids these days!) and Tumblr is awesome for when I'm stuck in waiting rooms and such with nothing better to do. I can leave those accounts alone for literally weeks and months, and then suddenly have an evening-long binge :)

    Also, I love that we know your name now!

    1. It is a big change to delete social apps from the smartphone, right? When I deleted facebook and twitter from there, I really did check my phone much less often. It feels less interruptive that way. Also, it helps learning to let go of "missing out". You do miss out stuff, no big deal.

      I think social media accounts should serve our needs and wishes so why not keep them open and go back to them once in a while? I haven't actually closed any of these accounts, I'm just no longer updating them, and it's always up for reevaluation in the future :)

      Thanks for the real name thing! I guess I haven't really been hiding it per se, but I somehow kept my internet nickname from 15 years ago through my various blogs for some reason...

  3. Hi Florie/Kali, though it might be a while where I call you that :)

    Re: phones and notifications: my phone is always on silent throughout the day so I don't keep hearing pings. I don't think that works for everyone, especially those with urgent business--but I check my phone enough not to miss anything (also a habit I want to change.) I also either hide my phone in a pocket or turn it over hiding the screen so I don't see it light up while I'm at work.

    ...all bets are off when I get home though. that's IG binge time :)

    1. Haha I've called myself Kali on the Internet for 15 years, and that comes from a real life nickname so I'm familiar with it if you'd like to keep calling me that :)

      It's an interesting point about missing important notifications and such. I remember a very old discussion with a very old (former actually) friend when mobile phones became the big thing. I used to turn my phone off at night (now it's on airplane mode so practically the same, only it's my morning alarm), and this former friend told me "but what if there is an emergency and a friend absolutely needs to contact me in the middle of the night?" It made me feel like he was leaving his phone on not only to feel reachable but to feel important, if that makes any sense. Of course he wanted to be there for his friends but I thought, if there is a real emergency, they'll call a doctor for example. That discussion was the first time I pondered the reality that we are not irreplacable, not that important, and if we miss that information, it won't be the end of our world. This realization has done wonders for my work/life balance. Sorry I went off subject there, your comment made me think of that side of the topic.

  4. Florie,

    You seem to have found some peace in this information intense world. On the downside, I miss your blog posts. Something tells me you are going blog less.

    - Archana.

    1. I have, or at least I am trying to. I guess it's a part of figuring out where all of my free time goes, because I want to spend it writing fiction and playing the violin and meditate. And I realize digital life (as in browsing social media etc.) took probably several hours of my days...

      It is true that I have been blogging less often these past few months, and I'll probably stick to the current pace. I do like this little blog though, so updating it is a part of the important stuff I'd like to keep spending time on :) Thanks for your kind note though!