Digital Clutter: 5 Reasons For Only Having 5 Apps Or Less

The digital age is great. We have easy access to so much more information than ever before. We can learn new things at the click of a button. But there’s a downside. We’re also easily distracted by digital clutter.

How many apps do you have on your phone? Your tablet? Your laptop? Other than the apps that come with my electronics, I have very few. Here’s why:

I discovered something about apps when I first started using them. I didn’t use 90% of them often enough to make them worthwhile. And the ones I did use were often a waste of time. There was a lot of digital clutter.

5 Apps I’ve Added To My iPhone

  1. GarageBand: I create music. This is the only app I keep on my iPad. My iPad is a music studio. I added GarageBand to my phone in case I have musical ideas on the go.
  2. FILMIC Pro: I like photography and videography. I spent about $10 to get this app. You can actually create near-pro looking films on your iPhone using FILMIC Pro.
  3. 8mm: This is just a fun little $1 app that makes your video look like it’s an old 8mm film.
  4. Instagram: I decided to start using Instagram last year. But I rarely use it. I’m not sure I’ll keep this app for the long run.
  5. Heart Rate: This is another $1 app that I bought for fitness reasons. I don’t need a Fitbit. Simply tracking and monitoring my heart rate before, during, and after exercise works just fine.
  6. Hip Diggs: Okay, I have six apps. But I only keep Hip Diggs on my phone to monitor whether its working for you.

If I’m Really Honest With Myself…

I rarely use these five apps. I probably use Instant Heart Rate the most often, followed by the video apps.

But note something else: Three of my five apps are for producing things. They aren’t meaningless games or gadgets that just waste my time. Still, if I don’t start using Instagram more often, it’s just digital clutter.

So why minimize the amount of apps you keep on your devices? It’s simple. Your apps are just like the clutter in your home. We ought to have some simple criteria for what apps we choose and why we choose them.

What Makes An App Digital Clutter?

  1. You never use it: In the past, I found apps that I thought would come in handy. After a few months I realized they were a waste of space. If you have an app that you never use, what’s the point in keeping it?
  2. It’s not really needed: Some apps are worthless. They do something, but it’s something you could do just as easily without it. Those apps are just digital clutter.
  3. It wastes storage: The more apps you have the less room you have for things like photos, videos, and audio recordings. I’d rather have pictures of where I’ve been than silly little games.
  4. It’s a distraction from more important things: I’m not much on digital games. Most game apps distract us from more important things. I see people playing games instead of communicating with others they are with. Don’t do that!
  5. It’s not a useful tool: Unless an app helps you to complete a task or assists in learning new information, it’s not very helpful. It becomes another piece of digital clutter.

Think Before You Download

Next time you’re tempted to download new apps, think about it. Do you really need the app? Will you really use it? Will it help you complete a task or distract you from completing more important tasks? If an app is just digital clutter, don’t get it!

Dan Erickson


James Ewen
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