I am a ex-tech lover. Don’t get me wrong, I still appreciate all that technology has done/does for me. My kindle e-reader kept me sane while night-nursing a sleepy Thandiwe. My phone keeps me connected to my loved ones 24/7 and that is such a blessing. However, I have unplugged from the rat race that is “the next best thing” . I no longer stare at my glitchy screen, excited to replace it with the newer model that isn’t that different. Instead, I ask, how can I make this work for me? Minimalism has ingrained in me the impact that my actions have on the earth and fellow mankind. My iPhone was not made by a robot, it was assembled by underpaid people whose work I value. The coltan used to make the capacitors that power so many of our electronics is mined by Congolese workers who live in a war zone that was destabilized by the west so they could have cheap and easy access to Congo’s resources.
So, here is how I keep it simple:
- Can I repair what I already have?
- Do I really need it? How will it serve me/bring me joy?
- Can I buy it secondhand/refurbished?
- Can it be traded or borrowed?
- Get a warranty if I must get it brand new
Asking these questions is a good way to establish whether or not the item is worth the hustle. As for tech we typically already own, here is how I handle it.
- Ditch cable and instead share streaming services among friends/loved ones
- Mount the TV to a stud in the wall to clear up space in living areas. TV stands are hubs for collecting clutter.
- Digitize DVD’s and CD’s and purchase digital copies
- Buy it second hand/refurbished if possible
- Get screen repaired if it cracks and do a factory reset if its acting glitchy to extend its life and get a good case if you are a clutz like me.
- Get a new battery if its not charging well
- Improve digital clutter by arranging like apps and content in folders together
- Your library card is key to so many cool free apps that you may be paying for: Hoopla and Overdrive for ebooks and audiobooks Libby for audiobooks. Mango for language learning.
Hope this helps