Seven Tech Resolutions to Avoid Suffering in the New Year

By Sam Biddle on at

Now that your vision is de-blurred and you can feel your face again, it's time to kick 2012's ass. For some, that means no more smoking or chicken nuggets—but let's also have a fresh start with electronics.

 

Back Up Your Computer

This one is inexcusable! We don't care how you do it. Get an external hard drive, an automated cloud service like Mozy, or burn a bunch of DVDs if you're feeling nostalgic. But get everything you'd ever want to see again in case of hard drive apocalypse, and stick it somewhere else. Anywhere else.

But that external safety isn't safe at all if you haven't backed ups since the Bush administration. Make your file transfers regular—stick to a monthly, weekly, or daily schedule.

 

Untangle Your Damn Cords

Look behind your TV. It's disgusting. But nobody will ever see it! Remember that line when you're trying to move your cable box, and have to dig through an awful pit of HDMI cables and power cords. Let's make 2012 gadget rat's nest free: a desktop, home theater, and whatever bag you keep your things in, sans awful tangles. That tiny knot in your laptop charger? Just take the 30 seconds to undo it.

 

Stop Wasting Battery Life

Batteries, much like life itself, are finite, and get worse with age. So be kind to your rechargeable friend, and use your battery power smarter. If you're not connected to a Wi-Fi network, kill Wi-Fi on your phone. Do you need Bluetooth turned on? Probably not. Do you need your screen so bright? Probably not. Treat your phone, computer, or tablet reasonably and it will thank you with more LCD companionship.

 

Stop Buying Stupid Apps You Don't Need

Flashlight Deluxe, Shopping Cart Finder, Yoghurt Guide 4, the free version of every game you stumble upon. When most apps are either zero dollars or a buck, it's easy to impulse buy—and clog up your phone with a bunch of shit you'll never use. How often do I use that currency converter app? Never. Never ever. Do some similar soul searching, strip your menus down to the good stuff, and avoid the wandering app market eye.

 

Mail Back Your LOVEFiLM Movies (Or Jump Ship)

Remember the time you had The Godfather Part 2 on Blu-ray for five months? You could have watched a lot more than Fredo get shot in the back of the head during that time. It's easy to forget about discs now that we all stream so much, but if you're paying for that physical media, use it—or face the fact that you don't care about discs anymore and change your subscription.

 

Tackle Facebook Privacy

Facebook's privacy settings, much like life itself, have historically been so byzantine and crazy that we just don't even bother. The settings aren't perfect these days, but they're likely a hell of a lot better since the last time you checked. So get in there, make sure your profile isn't public, and maybe block your coworkers from your college albums.

 

Be Kind to Your Parents

It's not your mum's fault she still uses a BT email account. It's your fault for not helping her make a new one.