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Recent Read: Unplugged

Since starting my blog in December, I had wanted to make it a goal to blog about my reads. I had briefly mentioned about a recent book I read by Ken Williams "Not All Fairy Tales Have Happy Endings" in one of my Sierra gaming posts, but never really discussed it fully as it's own post (which it deserves.) I will get to that someday. But for now, I did want to touch upon a recent book I read that I devoured less than a day. The book? Unplugged: No Surf & Digital Minimalism.

Before we get started, let me mention a few things that led me to this read. Several years ago, I noticed that apps were displaying ads on what I had talked about the previous day. You know, the creepy ads that show you flamingos when you were JUST talking about flamingos. Coincidence? Nope. Data tracking. The more I dug, the more I realized that I needed to clean up my digital life.

In late of 2021, I realized how bad the data tracking was, and how heavily influenced we are in regards to the social media algorithms. From what's popular and trending, to what we are all doing...everything was looking like mush. Everything was the same. All posts. I was stuck in an algorithm I hated. Then it started to get personal. I won't go into details, but it was upsetting me every time I logged into any of my socials. Then in January of 2022, I educated myself further. I found two awesome subreddits called 'DeGoogle' and 'Privacy.' Of course, I had a very public Reddit profile, but I did want to take some of what I read and apply it to my everyday life. I moved away from certain socials, got rid of Google (mostly...still a work in progress), signed up for a VPN, got a new email from 'ProtonMail', and paid for a cloud storage that was a private service.

Okay whew! This leads me to last month. I had been browsing one of these subreddits, and an anonymous redditor made a post for a free ebook. Since I had been on a recent privacy kick, I figured 'hey, why not?' I downloaded the ebook and read it. Literally, in one day.

The book gave many pointers how to clean up your digital life. Whether it be data on your hard drives, to digital file organization, to your online presence, to even your endless social media scrolling. This book touches upon everything. What I loved about it is that the author is roughly the same age as me, so I related to a lot of what they were talking about. Old digital files from the late 90s. What to do about it? Old social media accounts that you forgot about (or didn't know you had because of auto-signups!) Really, there is something in this book for everyone that they can learn and apply to their own life. One thing that I want to point out is that since the book is self-published, it does have a few grammatical errors, though it's not super apparent to where it distracts.

The book is free in many different formats. I'd highly recommend it. Click here to download the book.

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Jan 19, 2023

the thing so many ppl glaze over is that if a service is free, there is typically a reason for it. your email gets sold to third parties, your linked accounts create vast databases under the guise of marketing that legit listen to your day to day and the pop! here comes that custom add for that thing you mentioned as an afterthought is now in front of you, telling you to buy it now. if you have facebook/insta, you have probably had this happen to you more times than you can count. Big props Beth on bucking the freemium trap of google products and scaling down the socials, that is no easy task!

Beth Hodgson
Beth Hodgson
Jan 24, 2023
Replying to

Very true. I do use Brave on my phone, but it's only been recent that I have started using it. I still use Firefox (with DDG as my browser plugin.) I tried Mojeek on my computer as my search engine plugin, which was okay, but the results are a bit whack. You like Brave on the computer? If so, I'll try it. :)

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