My Digital Declutter Experiment

Jeremy Lipkowitz
3 min readDec 22, 2020


Today is the first full day of a 30-day digital declutter experiment.

The idea comes from Cal Newport’s book, Digital Minimalism, and the impetus to actually go through with it was strengthened by watching The Social Dilemma documentary, and then reading a few other books like Irresistible, by Adam Alter, and Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, by Jaron Lanier. (I highly recommend each one of these!)

What’s my game plan? To remove everything social media related, as well as any non-essential, or non-critical, technologies, and then to re-assess after the 30 days, what I want to bring back into my life.

Here’s a list of what I’m deactivating / blocking:

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Messenger
  • YouTube
  • CNN, NY Times, and all other news sites
  • Netflix
  • LinkedIn
  • Dating apps
  • ESPN and other sports sites
  • Perhaps a few others that I’m forgetting..

What am I keeping?

  • Gmail
  • Whatsapp
  • Podcasts
  • Audible

Why am I doing this?

I could sense that social media was creating problems in my life. I was so hooked on my devices, and the apps within those devices, that I could barely remember what it was like to just go for a walk in the park, or do something fun with friends without feeling the urge to check my phone, or having the thought creeping in “Maybe I should capture this and put it on my Instagram stories…”.

I was also noticing that I was struggling with a deepening anxiety around my sense of self-worth. Rather than feeling good about myself and my work in the world, I was placing my self-worth in how many likes my posts were getting, or how much engagement I was seeing, or how many followers I had. My whole being, how valuable I was, was being reduced to a single number at the top of my instagram profile.

I also noticed that I was getting so hung up on trying to please everyone, even though I knew social media is engineered towards promoting negativity and disagreement. I could barely express myself, because every time I wrote something that might be slightly controversial, I would have the thought “but what if someone disagrees? what if they take it out of context?”. I was self-censoring to the extreme, and it was making me question myself beyond a level of healthy self-doubt and humility. I was turning into my own worst nightmare — vanilla.

I knew I had to do this. I could feel my life slipping away from me, and I wanted to take back control

An intentional life

I want to spend my time doing deep work, like writing that book I’ve been thinking about, and creating new online courses. I want to be present for the people in my life, my deepening relationships. I want to put my emotional energy into serving my clients and creating valuable resources that would stand the test of time, not just creating little posts so I could get my fix of dopamine.

What I crave is an intentional life. A life a meaning, value, and deep connection. I crave real expression — not expression manufactured for more likes and followers. I want to make a difference in the world, and I realize that I need to create a sanctuary, a foundation in my life where that expression can be born.

This is not to say that it’s impossible for real connection and value to be born on social media. It can be done. But it’s to say that knowing my own addictive and people pleasing tendencies, that won’t happen for me on those platforms, at least not while my mind is so hooked on superficial metrics like engagement and Likes.

So, yesterday I deleted everything, and today is the first official full day of my declutter experiment.

My hope, my aspiration, is to spend much of this time writing. So, if you’re curious to see how it goes, keep following this page.

Much love,




Jeremy Lipkowitz

Executive Coach (ACC/CPCC) | Leadership Development Facilitator | Digital Habits Expert | Feat. in Men's Health