Digital destruction

I’ve been noticing a lot of sites still have buttons to share to Google+ which doesn’t exist anymore. Looking through old posts it’s not difficult to find broken links, especially from posts over three or four years old. Sometimes the old digital files you want to revisit are no longer available, can’t be opened, or have been corrupted. When talking about digital asset lifecycles the cycle usually ends with preservation, without mentioning the possibility of destruction, deletion or de-accession, but destruction is both liberating and necessary to move forward.


It’s ridiculous how much new content is uploaded and shared every second. It’s become easier to create digital assets than ever, but are those creations worthy of a lifecycle? Imagine all the blurry, useless digital photos that automatically get backed up to the cloud. It seems that platforms have made it easier to upload and share. You no longer need to control or fuss over the process of getting the assets online, there is no html formatting required. Images go straight from your phone to an app that shares for you.


Of course there are digital archives, libraries and repositories that are active in curating, managing and preserving assets. These are assets deemed to be worthy of the time and energy that it takes to maintain them. Then there are personal efforts (like this blog) to create and also maintain. It seems lately a lot of blogs that I used to read three of four years ago have gone quiet, many have share to Google+ buttons.


Old blog posts that link to websites that have vanished may hold some sort of nostalgia, or at least serve as a placeholder for what was once considered important. In looking through my old posts I realize I’m not that sentimental, and should probably just delete everything that’s out of date or broken. Only posts that are still somewhat relevant or helpful should be kept. Every so often I look for apps and services I signed up for but don’t use and find a way to delete my profile, remove all info and destroy. Digital cleaning is helpful if you really want to manage and maintain digital assets or presence.

Do you routinely delete or destroy your digital stuff? Let me know

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