The daily deluge of digital information and marketing is getting increasingly hard to manage. We get junk mail in our mailboxes at home and work, telemarketers calling us on the phone and spam via email. The advent of social media has added to the inflow of time-wasting “digital junk.” Here’s how to avoid adding to the digital landfill:
Reduce social-media noise
Stop sending automated “DMs” (direct messages) on Twitter. I get so many of these each day that I’ve stopped reading them. Most seem to be malicious links anyway.
Instead, if you want to engage people on Twitter, read their profiles and posts and mention these, or “RT” (retweet) some useful or interesting content.
Automated messages on Facebook are even more annoying because they’re hard to ignore. Marketers can generate these so they show up in your “messages” tab. You can try to “leave the conversation,” but then each person who leaves the conversation generates another message notification that “so-and-so left the conversation” to everyone on the list.
I’ve received 300 of these notifications from a single message. Everyone on the list was outraged, but no one seemed to be able to find a way to stop them. I went to the message and clicked on the “Action” button and chose the last option “Move to Other.” I then went to my privacy settings and changed my default to allow only “Friends” rather than “Everyone” to send me Facebook messages. I hope that did the trick.
Use QR codes creatively
QR (Quick Response) codes are everywhere. These are the square, black and white, two-dimensional bar codes you see on everything from magazine ads to cereal boxes to labels on bananas. QR codes have been around for many years and were first developed in Japan to track car parts. But they’ve become popular only in the past few years since QR-code scanners became available on smartphones.