Struggling with Digital Minimalism

What to do with social media networks as a small content creator

Words by Burkhard Rosemann

I started my minimalism journey in my digital space. A few years ago, I decided to get rid of all the digital clutter—the digital burden, if you will—that overcame my life. I decided to get rid of most of my social networks, since I had practically signed-up for all social media services out there. After this decision went Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, even my Google services, and much more.

I was happy with those first steps, and I did not miss those social media networks much. I then went to get rid of the high number of email addresses I had accumulated over the years. This was a bit harder, because I had to check all communication that went on over these addresses. I knew I wanted to only keep my Apple email address and account since I exclusively used Apple products. The more I dug into the different email providers, the more I found that I needed to keep a few more for business accounts. At the end, I got rid of around 12 email accounts.

Then I turned to my digital files. GBs and GBs of old stuff, forgotten files, crummy photos, and more. Boy, did that take time to go through. But it was worth it. I went from having around 3 external hard drives with millions of files down to using only one cloud service to store all my files. No more external hard drives.

I was so happy with all that. But then came other struggles. . . .

I had been working full-time for a big data company, so I had accounts to keep there. In my precious spare time I tried to build a little side hustle, a small entrepreneurial fun project to maybe earn some money with it in the future. And that's when it dawned on me. . . . For this side hustle that was a design and content creating project I would need a Facebook account to post about the work and network with other people and potential clients, right?

And with Facebook I would also need an Instagram account for the design work and inspiration...
I'd probably also need Pinterest, since design work does well there.

Do I also need Twitter to quickly write about it? Or YouTube to create visual help . . . or even TikTok for... well I don't even know for what, but I might need it.

So that was a dilemma. I didn't want to use all these services again, years after I got rid of them, but I was also pretty sure that I needed all these to get a small side hustle business going.

But is this true? Do we need all these services to achieve something nowadays?

The companies have us believing this, and it is still a burden on me. I’m not sure if I want to continue this route if it means agreeing with all this. I am torn, as you probably can tell. Is there a way to build something for yourself online without using every big platform, without sacrificing much of your private data, your time?

I gave in and started to use some of these services for my side hustle again. And it seems to work, but we've all heard of many data privacy issues the lasts few years with some of these big social media networks or networking platforms, which it’s a concern to me. On the other side of the coin, I don't want to give up on opportunities that otherwise might not come.

My final questions: Do you struggle with things like this on your minimalism journey? Do you have a small business or side hustle? Did you have similar concerns? What is your solution?

Burkhard Rosemann

Burkhard Rosemann is a fill-time linguist and a part-time content creator and writer based in Northern Germany. He has always been a minimalist, even in his younger years, but without knowing the term or ever having heard about it. Now that he does know more about it, he tries to apply minimalism to as many aspects of his life as possible.

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Burkhard Rosemann
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burkr.de

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