Declutter Your Digital Footprint

Declutter Your Digital Footprint

Whilst recently performing a technology lobotomy, I took pleasure in unearthing old devices, their cables, and other paraphernalia. Declutter Your Digital Footprint and upgrade technology, especially if it’s pretty old and no longer serves your needs. 

I would much rather see our old tech reused than relegated to the household recycling center before eventually finding its way to landfill. My husband also upgraded his iPad a few years ago. Since then, his old tablet has been gathering dust in the loft alongside several iPhones. Getting rid of them reduced our possessions and was 100% profit as each phone had come with a monthly contract.

Many big-name stores sell end of line stock, refurbished gadgets and returned items on auction websites including eBay so that will be my first port of call next time we need to touch up our technology. I really respect the practice of using what’s already been manufactured, rather than increasing its carbon footprint. I’m writing this book on a refurbished MacBook Pro (75% cheaper than a new one with 12-month warranty).

At the end of our first technology lobotomy, we’re left with the following (no unused old devices lurking just out of sight). Each device is used regularly enough to justify its existence:

  • iPad (x2), iPhone (x2) & iPod
  • Kindle (when we travel I use the App on my iPad or iPhone)
  • Bluetooth Speaker
  • Firestick & Chromecast
  • MacBook Pro
  • Ultra-Wide Monitor (instead of two small ones)
  • Wireless Keyboard & Mouse
  • TVs (lounge, our bedroom, spare bedroom)
  • Stereo System
  • Digital Radios (x3)

Playing with Fire: Performing A Technology Lobotomy

We canceled our Sky package last year. By the end of the contract, we were paying £58.00 per month for TV channels we never watch. Those we do are mainly available on Freeview through our TV aerial. Amazon’s Firestick provides us with access to Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Netflix, etc. It also enables us to pick up where we left off when we’re away via any TV HDMI port. Best of all, it’s a one-off cost of £39.99.

Chromecast: Performing A Technology Lobotomy

Google’s media-streaming device was recommended to us by a friend and for a one-off cost of £30.00 Chromecast is very affordable entertainment without having to upgrade our 10-year-old TV. We can stream TV shows, films, music, games, sport, etc. through Apps including YouTube and Netflix. BBC iPlayer (if you’re in the UK) can be streamed from an iPhone/iPad/Macbook straight to the TV (Android devices use Windows or Chromebook).

A More Compact Disc Collection: Performing A Technology Lobotomy

The last bastion of entertainment in our house is the CD collection. Our CDs are much harder to part with it seems. I haven’t tacked them yet with the exception of a handful I can categorically say I rarely or never listen to. When we travel the CDs stay at home as our songs and albums are stored digitally on iTunes and Amazon Music. I definitely think this is a positive thing as technology enables people to travel much lighter nowadays. It’s a far cry from the 1990s when as a backpacker I would lug my 10cm-thick travel case from place to place, bulging with discs and my portable CD player.

I do accept though that CDs are a different animal as they don’t take up nearly as much space. But I have the feeling Dave will be keener to lose them than pay for storage once we downsize our living space, but we’ll see. Maybe their time will come when we have to replace our 20-year-old+ stereo….

Ditch The Line Rental: Performing A Technology Lobotomy

We’ve tried and failed at this because we haven’t found a line-rental free broadband package without paying significantly more money. Until that changes, our workaround has been to not plug in a landline handset so we can’t accrue any call charges and just pay an affordable £30.00 per month. I have sold previous handsets online or given them to charity. For the past few years, I’ve also had a £10.00 per month SIM-only contract for my (refurbished) iPhone, which I bought part-exchange for my old out of contract device.

Here is the monetary result of our main technology lobotomy. You do incur fees on eBay (unless you’re prepared to wait for no-fee days but I’m too impatient) and PayPal depending on the listing options, but it’s still better than giving everything to charity not knowing if it will be bought or stay in the shop’s storeroom:

Ziffit/We Buy Books/Mazuma Mobile/Music Magpie/eBay Item
Books, DVDs & CDs £22.85
Books x7 £3.22
iPad (x1) – faulty £15.00
iPhones (x3 – one faulty) £84.00
92 DVDs £12.59
Nintendo DS + 2 games £1.75
Bluetooth speaker £88.00
Bluetooth speaker bag £9.99
SatNav (very old – parts only) £10.00
LG Flatron LCD Monitors £30.00
BT YouView HD Box £20.00
Breaking Bad: Series 1-6 £13.00
BT Home Hub Router £5.60
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