In the last few weeks I have been attempting to “clean up” my internet identity by closing shop on some social media accounts, and cleaning up a few others. I have had quite a few Tumblr blogs, most of which are now gone. That was the first to be “cleaned”. Now I have just 3. A fanfiction blog, an anti SJW blog (which may also be going away soon, as I’ve really become quite bored with it all), and a third that just gets reblogs of things that I like or find amusing. My blogger accounts are likely to get either purged or repurposed for specific projects since they’re kinda hand in hand with my Google accounts. I have a Typepad account that I never use, but the level of membership I have there is a premium level that was given to me for free when Typepad absorbed the Six Apart company’s VOX blogging platform that I was very active in. (Vox has since become something else entirely).
But not all of my internet accounts are as easily cleaned up. I have spent weeks sorting through my deviantArt gallery. Saving what I want, deleting what I can do without. I started with over 1000 “deviations” ranging from original artwork and photography to fiction (fanfiction and original) and poetry. Short rants in a “journal” like blog. And all sorts of manner of things. I have finally gotten the number below 700, and have still more to go before deleting my account there for good.
As for Facebook…. I may not be too fond of it, but it has become a necessary evil. It is the only contact I have with some members of my family, and the only way for me to see my nieces and nephews. So there I can’t do much but set my things to private.
Going through all of my accounts across the internet has really made me think about how deeply entrenched it has become in my daily life. When I was a child, before we got our first computer (I was 11 at the time) I used to go outside. I read more books. I listened to the radio. Actually watched a few things on the television. I didn’t talk on the phone much (due to an irrational fear of telephones that lasted until my first year in college), but I did write letters. I sent cards. I actually did things worthwhile. Not to say that I haven’t done things online that aren’t worthwhile and fun. But that’s just it, I can hardly remember the last time I went outside just for the sake of getting some sunshine and playing in the yard with the family dog.
This is not the legacy I want to hand down to my son. While of course, I’ll show him how to use a computer, and play games on the Wii; I also want to take him to the park. I want to take him for a hike up to our library and watch as he discovers the same joys I had as a child when I saw a really cool book on the new arrivals shelf.
Cleaning up my internet footprint has really helped put a lot of my life into proper perspective and has reshaped my priorities, I hope, for the better.