Tech self-care for the new year: a guide
Was the term “self-care” invented by the beauty industrial complex to sell more bath bombs? Probably, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea to set aside time to take care of yourself once in a while. It also applies to the technology in your life.
Pretend you don’t see a tangle of cables behind your desk? Does the three-digit unread email notification make you cringe every time you look at your home screen? Or has the once clear phone case turned a dingy shade of yellow? Look, I’m not here to shame you. But maybe it’s time to take a look around the technology you use every day to see how a little tidying up can go a long way. If you’re looking for a place to start, you’ve come to the right place. (Unless you’re looking for bath bomb recommendations – can’t help you there.)
I speak from experience when I say that these silly little cable clamps from Amazon can make a world of difference to your desk. If you’re also constantly untangling wires or fishing them out from the floor when you need to connect something, please get to know my lord and savior: cable management. This kit comes in a variety of sizes, all with non-harmful adhesive on the back. Attach one to the side of your desk and you’ll have a place to tuck cables out of the way when you’re not using them.
Before you are surprised by dead batteries in your gadgets, check them beforehand. This voltage controller costs $5.99 and comes with the advantage of not needing a battery itself. Give your future self the gift of not trying to replace the batteries in your wireless mouse before an important meeting.
If you take nothing else from this guide, just do yourself a favor and buy a treat of compressed air. You won’t believe the crumbs it can dig up from your keyboard or the corners of your phone case. If you’re cleaning your laptop, make sure to turn it off first – we’ve got more guidance here. Now it’s actually time to get out the old-fashioned duster too, and get started. It is a good idea to ensure that the area where the electronics are connected is free of dust.
While you’re at it, pick up a microfiber cloth and some cleaning spray, too. Take a minute to clean the screens in your life – phone, car, TV, anything you watch a thousand times a week. Just be sure to use the right tools for the surface; leave the Windex in your closet and get this cleaning and microfiber kit for $12.95 from Calyptus. It is Guardian photo editing approved, so you know it’s legit.
Now that your phone’s screen is free of smudges, take a good, hard look at your home screen. Maybe you’re like me and you start out with good intentions of putting apps into folders and then, at some point, abandon the whole charade, just letting them pile up on page after page of pure chaos. This could be a whole guide in itself, but here are some quick tips to clean up your home screen:
Oh, and one last bit of self-care? Just delete the 30,482 unread emails. If someone gets mad about it, remind them that text is the new email and they should just text you next time.