Here’s How to Achieve Tech Nirvana in 2023 - The World News

Here’s How to Achieve Tech Nirvana in 2023

Social media and new communication platforms may have been lifelines during the pandemic, but have they gobbled up too much of your time? Do you have more streaming subscriptions than you could ever use? Along with aspirations for more exercise or a better diet, it might be time to reset your tech life.

Brian X. Chen, the lead consumer technology writer for The New York Times and writer of the Tech Fix column, and Sheera Frenkel, a Times technology reporter, gave readers tips for achieving their tech goals in an audio conversation on Jan. 12 hosted on Twitter.

Listen to an edited version of the discussion and review the highlights below:

Want to cut down on social media use or screen time generally? Keep temptations at arm’s length: Delete social media apps you want to cut down on, and log out of your accounts when you finish browsing. One of the most powerful tools in your anti-screen-time arsenal? “Leaving your phones or tablets in a separate room from your bedroom” to head off bedtime scrolling sessions, Mr. Chen said. And if you’re planning to delete your social media accounts once and for all, be sure to take your data with you.

Planning to beef up your digital security? Besides taking the important step of enabling two-factor authentication, consider a password manager, even if they’re not foolproof. Keep an eye out for suspicious notifications and behavior; if you get an email from your boss asking you to buy her hundreds of dollars’ worth of gift cards, that may not be your boss. Should you get a notification that your account has been accessed that you can’t account for, “it’s definitely a good time to log in yourself and change your password,” Mr. Chen said.

Trying to get a handle on digital clutter? If you want to take charge of your unread emails, a sorting feature like Gmail’s “rules” may be useful for prioritizing the most important items. (“Inbox zero” may not be for everyone, however; Mr. Chen said he had 129,000 unread messages at the time of recording.) And if you’re still yearning for a greater feeling of digital control, consider deleting emails with large attachments. This will save on storage space and can help you get a handle on the deluge. Perhaps your phone is overwhelmed with apps, too. A simple solution is to delete (or hide from your home screen) the apps you don’t use frequently.

Want to make sure you’re making the most of your devices? Even the default settings on your tech could stand to be modified. Many televisions have a motion smoothing feature, meant to make fast-moving video, like a sports game, easier to watch. But, Mr. Chen said, “it makes everything else look horrible,” and he recommended toggling it off. (He secretly turns off the feature at others’ houses.) And take good care of the devices you’ve invested in. This means downloading software updates, and swapping out your phone’s battery every two to three years. Start to think of your tech the way you do your car, something you should maintain rather than continually replace. “It’s easier said than done,” Mr. Chen said, but once you hit the rhythm of regular maintenance, “you’ve reached technology nirvana.”

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