Digital Minimalism

Digital Minimalism

Choosing A Focused Life in A Noisy World

Book - 2019
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Minimalism is the art of knowing how much is just enough. Digital minimalism applies this idea to our personal technology. It's the key to living a focused life in an increasingly noisy world. In this timely and enlightening book, the bestselling author of Deep Work introduces a philosophy for technology use that has already improved countless lives. Digital minimalists are all around us. They're the calm, happy people who can hold long conversations without furtive glances at their phones. They can get lost in a good book, a woodworking project, or a leisurely morning run. They can have fun with friends and family without the obsessive urge to document the experience. They stay informed about the news of the day, but don't feel overwhelmed by it. They don't experience "fear of missing out" because they already know which activities provide them meaning and satisfaction. Now, Newport gives us a name for this quiet movement, and makes a persuasive case for its urgency in our tech-saturated world. Common sense tips, like turning off notifications, or occasional rituals like observing a digital sabbath, don't go far enough in helping us take back control of our technological lives, and attempts to unplug completely are complicated by the demands of family, friends and work. What we need instead is a thoughtful method to decide what tools to use, for what purposes, and under what conditions. Drawing on a diverse array of real-life examples, from Amish farmers to harried parents to Silicon Valley programmers, Newport identifies the common practices of digital minimalists and the ideas that underpin them. He shows how digital minimalists are rethinking their relationship to social media, rediscovering the pleasures of the offline world, and reconnecting with their inner selves through regular periods of solitude. He then shares strategies for integrating these practices into your life, starting with a thirty-day "digital declutter" process that has already helped thousands feel less overwhelmed and more in control. Technology is intrinsically neither good nor bad. The key is using it to support your goals and values, rather than letting it use you. This book shows the way.
Publisher: [New York] : Portfolio/Penguin, [2019]
ISBN: 9780525536512
0525536515
9780241341131
0241341132
Characteristics: xviii, 284 pages ; 21 cm

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kristina_rad Jun 21, 2019

Life changing already! (and I have a hundred more pages to go)

I think this should be a compulsory read for everyone who uses technology. The writer is a professor of computer science so he is by no measure anti tech, Newport is pro intentional living. As I read this book, I'm inspired to have more moments of solitude and reflection, as well as a few days a week when I forget my phone at home. Many insights and idea's for creating more meaningful connections with ourselves and the people in our lives.

If you don't have time to read the book, give this Rich Roll podcast a listen, many digital minimalism practices are discussed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9L-Uoo4VrIk

mazinwhistler Jun 03, 2019

I have been embracing the Minimalism movement so this book came out at just the right time for me! I really enjoyed Newport's writing and his practical suggestions on ways to embrace 'Digital Minimalism' and focus on what is really important. My three biggest takeaways were: enjoy SOLITUDE, seek LEISURE activities that require social interactions (join a club, catch up with a friend, start a new sport, etc..) and CREATE using your hands (eg. build, cook, garden etc...).

I have even got my husband to be interested in this book and he is now on hold for it! :-)

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Jun 02, 2019

I really, really liked this -- but I have to admit that this was basically preaching to the choir. A lot of the ideas he has are things I either already do (remove social media from phone, set scheduled social media times each day and don't check it outside of those windows) or things that I've considered but hadn't yet gotten around to doing (like, notably, BUYING A WATCH so I can stop checking my phone for the time constantly!). I'd be interested to see how this lands with folks who would be more of a hard sell -- who either don't see their phone use as a problem, or who feel that it's impossible for them to cut back on it very much. I, personally, found it really energizing and inspiring, and it motivated me to try harder at something I was already working on -- I'm interested to hear other perspectives, though!

s
sandraperkins
Apr 27, 2019

Lots of people feel that technology and screens are taking over their lives. Many people spend hours every day staring at screens. They feel exhausted and stressed. Their attention is constantly being distracted in multiple directions. The technological tools they use are addictive (often by design). People feel inadequate and depressed. Emotions are manipulated by constant online activity; people experience anger and outrage regularly.

The premise of Digital Minimalism is that people will be happier and more successful if they reduce their use of technology tools and focus on a small number of high value activities. This book tells us how to do that.

Mr. Newport tells us right up front that the goal of this book is to make the case for digital minimalism, including an explanation of how and why it works, and then teach us how to adopt this philosophy if it is right for each of us.

Part 1 explains why today’s technology tools are making our lives miserable, and then explains how digital minimalism can help solve these problems. He then proposes that we do a “digital declutter”—stepping away from optional online activities and devices for 30 days. This gives us the opportunity to wean ourselves from the cycles of addiction that today’s technological tools can instill, and rediscover analog activities that bring greater satisfaction: taking walks, talking to friends and family in person, engaging your community, reading books, and staring at the clouds. This provides an opportunity to understand and decide what we value most. At the end of 30 days, we can select a small number of tech tools to add back in, because we believe they will enhance the activities and values we think are most important. And we can leave the rest behind.

Part 2 examines ideas that will help us cultivate a sustainable digital minimalism lifestyle; for example, the author discusses the value of solitude and the necessity of cultivating high quality leisure activities to replace the time spent on mindless devise use. (This part of the book reminded me of the book Rest.) He suggests numerous tools and ideas we can use to achieve digital minimalism that will work for each of us, so we can each strike the balance that works for us.

This is a very helpful, practical book. I also highly recommend The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr. Mr. Newport's book Deep Work is also very excellent.

l
lijunair
Apr 12, 2019

LHTL friday newsletter must read

b
brfluchel
Apr 03, 2019

I really enjoyed this book. The author does a good job of explaining the importance of digital minimalism while also embracing technology for purposeful endeavors. I feel fortunate to have had a smartphone free childhood. With a 2 year old I worry that humans will evolve to ask Google first and think second. We may become more advanced and enjoy a simpler life, but I'm concerned that we'll be leaving our humanity behind.

Chapel_Hill_KrystalB Mar 18, 2019

My new hymn book. I was headed in this direction already, but I took much more away from it than, "use optional technology less." It's really about living a more intentional life on a larger scale... in a very digestible way. I knocked a star off only because the anecdotal representation skewed middle/upper class.

s
StarGladiator
Dec 06, 2018

Sounds rather intelligent - - certainly those smartphone zombies, with their 7-second attention spans, are the most easily duped and indoctrinated.

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