Digital Minimalism Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy

Digital Minimalism Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World 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 worldIn this timely and enlightening book the bestselling author of Deep Work introduces a philosophy for technology use that has already improved countless livesDigital 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 satisfactionNow Newport gives us a name for this uiet 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 conditionsDrawing 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 in controlTechnology 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

10 thoughts on “Digital Minimalism Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

  1. Kelly Kelly says:

    Although at times it made me annoyed for how into only citing dudes or dude centric work it is hi the Craft movement has been in the women's spheres for forever but it didn't become cool to do crafts whatever craft you prefer until dudes reclaimed it over the last few decades this is a really smart thoughtful and practical book about how to make sure that social media works for you rather than you becoming a tool of the social media I've been doing some of these things in my own life and it's neat to see what some others have done Newport's big suggestion is scheduling when you'll be mindless on social media and spend time creating ways to let the tools do the work you want them to do in the other time Likewise the suggestions for a digital detox are easy enough and some of the other ideas including don't put apps on your phone are things I've been doing and finding to be valuable for sure More on this one soon It doesn't necessarily tread new ground as How to Break Up with Your Phone The 30 Day Plan to Take Back Your Life and others like it do thisbut I guess since they're by women y'know

  2. Robert Chang Robert Chang says:

    Cal Newport provided practical advice on how to embrace the philosophy of Digital Minimalism Spend time alone to gain solitude Leave your phone at home Take long walks Write letters to yourself journaling Don't click likes Avoid falling into the slot machine feedback loop of likes Consolidate texting hold conversation office hours Reclaiming conversations Reclaim Leisure prioritize demanding leisure activity over pass consumption use skills to produce valuable things in the physical world seek leisure activities with real world structured social interactions fix or build something every week schedule low uality leisure join something eg a community follow leisure plan Join the attention resistance delete social media from your phone turn your device into single purpose computers embrace slow media dumb down your smart phone

  3. Carl Rannaberg Carl Rannaberg says:

    I badly wanted to like this book I really did Because I have very much enjoyed other books by Cal Newport So Good That They Can’t Ignore You and Deep Work Both have inspired me a lot and I have recommended these to others in many occasionsThis book was way below my expectations I'm afraid it’s not the book it’s me The practical value for me was minimal as I have already implemented a lot of things he proposes in the bookAs Cal Newport mentions that he sees the digital minimalism trend gaining momentum I thought this book has the potential to be the bible for this movement But I don’t believe that happens because the message in this book is not clear enough There are really no core underlying principles for this digital minimalism philosophy that Cal Newport tries to communicate in this book or he just did a poor job at it I would have expected that he would lay out the laws or principles of digital minimalist at the start of the book and reinforce them through anecdotes in the rest of the book For me there were only loosely related anecdotes where sometimes I scratched my head and thought “how is that relevant to this topic?”This book seems to have identity crisis As Cal himself mentioned at the start of the book he usually doesn’t write practical books And this book is neither theoretically coherent nor is it well structured practical book It’s somewhere between and it’s a shame His research in this topic is very thorough and the examples and tips he offers are actually usefulOne thing that irritated me a little was his dismissive attitude towards blog posts with tips to turn off notifications on your smartphone and then he goes on in the book and does exactly the same thing Of course he also talked about that you need a deeper philosophy to actually make these changes in your life but for me he failed at communicating it clearly enoughOne of the biggest grievances for me was lack of authors understanding of how habits work This book would have been sooo much better when he would have actually connected our harmful digital behaviours with fundamental habit changing theoryIf you would like to get pretty much the same content in a much clearer and practical form I would highly recommend you read “Atomic Habits” by James Clear and “Make Time” by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky Former gives a very solid understanding of the psychology behind habit change and the latter gives over 80 highly practical tactics to find better focus and energy in this distracting world

  4. Cindy Pham Cindy Pham says:

    35 stars I appreciate the thesis that by choosing to minimize technology in our day to day lives we're choosing to be deliberate with how we spend our time I liked some of the advice to consolidate texting hold conversation office hours and in general choose to be purposeful with what energy we give to reacting to others I think this book would have been stronger if he provided research to this points rather than random anecdotes about people who decide to step away from technology A few pieces throughout the middle also felt like fluff to fill up the book ie the rock paper scissors championship the fantasy board game groups and anecdotes about old white dudes like Henry David Thoreau It would have served better to take stories of the modern day person who has to be ingrained in technology like someone working in Silicon Valley and solutions for how to balance professional reuirements with self preservation and mindfulness

  5. Mario the lone bookwolf Mario the lone bookwolf says:

    I know the irony of writing such a review on a social media platform but as always there is potential for both good and for bad for modest consumption or addictionOne should always keep in mind that humans are social animals prone to getting addicted to interacting with each other Online 247 Until real life which one was that still collapses Probably the one or the other reader might tend to eat too much sugar fat has uit smoking or even worse things like online gaming In each of these cases a different strong bodily and or physical addiction has triggered the craving for It´s not difficult to see the problem when the doctor tells you that you ought probably lose weight uit this reduce that yada yada yada what does he know it´s my body health and life Now we get stimulated with each like Please oh please click the button under the review I need it so desperately my whole life circles around it click it damn message comment etc Our brains are wired to social interaction because happy apes in groups meant survival while lonely apes in the dark jungle meant yum yum for predators So some of us except a large but underrepresented group of introverts ahem get pretty stressed as soon as the confirmation of popularity doesn´t grow stagnates or even inconceivable goes down Why don´t those complete strangers don´t support me any? In nature we could be dead now No drug like hormone exposition in the brain so that the flow kicks in just sadness Any company with an allegedly free business model running a social media site search engine etc knows that So thousand of high skilled experts do nothing except of trying to get as many people as hooked on as possible considering age gender social status It´s as if an organized drug dealing cartel had employed people to tailor and advertise their products to each possible customer base But hey humans have a free will at least in theory What the book is trying to tell us is the same thing each monk and Buddhist says all day long each day of herhis life Get your mind trained meditate stay calm check your feelings needs and especially cravings Ask why your construct of personality in this wet mess up there seems to do what it wants You are the ego it simulates so you should really try to at least take control for a few moments every day and expand to longer periods perhaps half hours or so Ideology might play a large part here too Completely ignoring the social and human part can lead to a technocratic cold and alienated world Doing as if no social media exists can destroy possibilities to something that might get closer to Gaia than nothing before It´s as many wise doctors often said the dosage that makes the poison Or the demonization of the poison although it would be the only possible cure for many problems It could be easy by just checking social media once or twice a day for a certain time and take a day weekend or even holiday Is he crazy? off A mini hiatus Just like computer gaming addiction the social media addiction is something just existing in your mind and as someone who uit smoking many times I can tell you that there are really other burdens that come with real physical cravings and not just the inability to control the delay of the answer to the uestion of how many people have shared and liked my precious precious review of this book that can also be read on myFictional twitter link Fictional Facebook linkFictional whatever the latest freaking popular overhyped social media thing app may be It is not as if I am playing with fire when using this social book cataloging network mkay OMG the self deceit It´s not as if I had already before lost complete control about different social networks or computer games or beer and weed consump But I have a really fix schedule on using Goodreads and just self deception look at that poor buddy now he has even begun talking about himself in the third person as if he thinks he is someone special or some of those strange kings who talk about themselves as he And bigotry of course too because of the yada yada about enlightenment preaching water and drinking wine one of my favorite hobbies U still reading anyone else guilty? I hope so please don´t let me be the only social bookmarking addict on this siteA wiki walk can be as refreshing to the mind as a walk through nature in this yuck ugh boo completely overrated real life outside books here comes the antidotehttpsenwikipediaorgwikiMindfulhttpsenwikipediaorgwikiMeditationhttpsenwikipediaorgwikiAutogen

  6. Meredith B. (readingwithmere) Meredith B. (readingwithmere) says:

    5 Stars Where we want to be cautious is when the sound of a voice or a cup of coffee with a friend is replaced with ‘likes’ on a post Read This Book Have you ever told someone in your life you just didn't have enough time in the day to get everything done? Have you thought about why that is? Maybe look down and see what you've been doing for the last 5 10 or even 60 minutes Probably scrolling through your phone Sometimes with intention but sadly a lot of the time we are on our phones because of we are boredom or we are addicted and fear FOMOA little background before I get into this book and why it's very important I've always been into tech I started at a young age went to college and got a Web DevInteractive Media degree and I've had jobs in Digital Marketing Email Marketing and now Cyber Security I use tech each and everyday so you may be asking why I think this book is so important and uestioning why I agree there is a problem? Well because I started to notice it in my own life and around me I'd go meet a friend and they'd sit there scrolling through their phone while i'm trying to talk to them I've watched family members sit on their phones while we're supposed to be spending time together I looked around my train car the last couple days at 95% of people sat there scrolling through their phones and most of it was social media not work I watch families of 4 go out to eat and all 4 parents and kids are on their phones Why bother going out? I know you may thinking well that's their choice and I agree but I personally don't want to lose human interaction to my phone or my time to my phoneother tech Mindless scrolling because I'm bored or that I'm afraid I'm going to miss out just isn't worth my mental health or relationships I also started to recently feel depressive and sad feelings while being on social media It made me feel sad watching others thrive in their life and I felt insignificant in a way The Facebook effect is real and I firsthand have felt it Just remember there was once a time when we didn't have all this tech or phones and we were connected less anxious and we still survived I realize I'm typing this on a digital site and it has to be read here but just hear me outDIGITAL MINIMALISM takes us through different steps that you can go through to become a digital minimalist What is one you ask? 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 with meaning and satisfactionNewport takes us through almost detoxing yourself from doing tech activities without intention So if you spend 2 hours a day on facebook try taking it off your phone so you can get over the urge of automatically opening it and then set aside specific time to go on it and try to use it with high intention so that you really get something out of it Technology is not good or bad and Cal is actually a Computer Scientist it's so about how we use it and how we can change that to be healthyI personally made a few changes my husband and I do not look at our phones during dinner or any meal together In fact I try to leave my phone in the car or at home as much as I can I put on night mode at night I put my phone farther away at night I turned off almost all phone notifications The next step is to delete some low intention social media appsIf you are ready to take back control of your time and not feel like you need your phone attached to you every second then definitely read this book It's simple but powerful and it has a lot of interesting studiesbackground on technology as a whole I personally love technology it is my job after all but I'm ready to use it intentionally then mindlessly and strengthen my human face to face connections rather than hoovering behind a screen I think my neck thumbs and hands will probably thank me too

  7. Amora Amora says:

    I liked this book but I will be sincere The methods offered here to be a minimalist aren’t realistic for many of us including me It’s not that I and many others don’t have the will to be a minimalist but it’s that we can’t Newport does show the benefits of reducing technology use uite nicely but unfortunately this book wasn’t made for everyone Newport’s previous book was significantly better

  8. Julie Christine Julie Christine says:

    Every rare once in awhile a Facebook friend announces their imminent departure from Facebook Or simply uietly slips away leaving behind a shadow profile in my friends list I send up a silent cheer when I realize they have deactivated their account knowing in my belly they are better off without this ubiuitous social media overlord For a long time I've felt a sense of disuiet about social media but the disturbance has become a growing alarm and a deep sadness in recent months I feel that we all of us who are connected have just lost our way Then two things occurred almost simultaneously one horrific one glorious First The New York Times ran a feature on child pornography a hideous crime that's exploded in volume because of social media The wretched creeps who exploit and abuse children have multiple platforms that make it harder to track their behavior and make it all the easier for children to be preyed upon The social media companies like Facebook with its Messenger platform are complicit in these crimes just as they were in the travesty that was the 2016 election They want users regardless of the conseuences And then a friend of mine fulfilled a lifelong dream which also happens to be one of mine hiking the Camino de Santiago She chronicled every day through photos and anecdotes posted on Insta and Facebook As much as I treasured joining her journey from afar I also wanted to plead with her to put down the phone forget all of us and be there in her head and body and heart and just walk Walk for the sake of it not for the instagrammable moments Being disconnected from the world is natural healthy necessary I imagine my own Camino and know that I want it to be private meditative transformative not shared not liked or retweeted Pure Into all this walked Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport giving me yet reasons and now a strategy to reframe and redo my relationship with social media Cal Newport isn't a Luddite He's not against social medial or digital technology He does throw down the gauntlet however; challenging his readers to look their use and habits suarely in the screen to recognize and deeply register the power Silicon Valley has in nearly every aspect of our lives our time our children's brains our attention our pocketbooks Few want to spend so much time online but these tools have a way of cultivating behavioral addiction And as Newport demonstrates throughout Digital Minimalism while some of these addictive ualities are accidental many have been exploited by tech and social media companies whose driving purpose is to keep us online as often and for as long as possible Through intermittent unpredictable social approval likes loves retweets we become dependent on the feedback that shows someone somewhere has noticed usI've moved around so much as an adult cities states countries and it's precious to keep in touch with friends from lifetimes ago Facebook and Twitter have brought me into communities of writers that were crucial to the development of my career; I might never have started writing if it weren't for this very space Goodreads Writing thoughtfully about the books I read became a DIY MFA I learned story structure narrative depth character development and how to construct a beautiful sentence not only by reading great and not so great books but by being a part of a community that discusses them It's not that any of these tools is bad To be fair they can bring pleasure and satisfaction It's just that they are too much And we no matter how professional intelligent disciplined have been manipulated to respond like rats to a sugar drip Our brains are tired We're overstimulated over connected over info'ed It's not natural to have hundreds of friends to share not only the minutiae of our daily lives but its most intimate details with people we wouldn't recognize if we passed them on the street to constantly seek social approval not to spend time in solitude not to look up and observe the world around us Newport and his co frèressœurs James Clear Atomic Habits Jenny Odell How to Do Nothing Resisting the Attention Economy among others are part of the emerging Attention Resistance a loosely knit group of educators researchers artists and business professionals who are decrying the outsize role digital technology and social media play in our lives 'Sean Parker the first president of Facebook has called the platform a “social validation feedback loop” built around “exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology” Tristan Harris who worked as a “design ethicist” at Google has said that smartphones are engineered to be addictive' What It Takes to Put Your Phone Away by Jia Tolentino The New Yorker April 22 2019This just isn't right I don't want to play the game any Or accurately I don't want to be played any I am accepting moving toward embracing that time spent on social media is low uality time No matter how much I appreciate the connections the sharing of fun moments or commiseration over the bad I am coming to accept that I will be happier focused productive and peaceful the less time I spend on social media I already take periodic breaks employing various tips and technologies to reclaim my time and attention but as Newport states “willpower tips and vague resolutions are not sufficient by themselves to tame the ability of new technologies to invade your cognitive landscape” Social media isn't that big a part of my life I have a full time day job and rarely check social media during the day even though my actual job reuires that I post on both Facebook and Instagram I am finishing the first draft of my fourth novel; most days I work out at twice a day; I read copiously I'm busy engaged in the real world But still I think social media is compromising my—and our society's at large—mental intellectual physical and communal health It's time to start doing things differently Hey there's an app for that actually uite a few Moment Forest Freedom Focus and one new to this Mac user Ulysses which looks an awful lot like Scrivener Seriously Cal Newport has a plan Detox for thirty days And then once your 30 day detox is over rebuild your relationship with digital technology from the ground up with intentionality and minimalism where technology serves you and what you deeply value The goal is not simply to give yourself a break from technology but to instead spark a permanent transformation of your digital life Newport recommends that you spend your time away from optional technology by discovering or rediscovering what you enjoy It's the Marie Kondo approach to a digital life if it's not useful or doesn't bring you joy it needs to go as much as is reasonable Most of us have aspects to our jobs that make some of these technologies including emails or texting inevitable There are engrossing sections of this book that discuss the beauty of solitude a beauty we've all but lost with constant presence of our phones in our pockets sharing the carefully curated moments of our lives or reading about others' He argues that we are suffering from Solitude Deprivation A state in which you spend close to zero time alone with your own thoughts and free from input from other minds There are also alarming looks at younger generations who've never known life without iPads or smartphones the stunted growth of empathy focus motivation and observation It's not just terribly sad and weird I believe it's a public health crisis So in a couple of weeks beginning November 1 I will be starting my digital declutter The first step is a 30 day digital declutterdetox from optional technologies For me that will be Facebook including Messenger Twitter and Instagram I may also let go of Goodreads and just upload my book reviews after I come back online but I don't feel a digital drain hereI'll journal my detox maybe I'll return to loving my blog that I always seem to be too busy to post on I won't force myself to finish this first draft of my novel by the end of November but at the rate I'm going even before I begin my detox I just might I look forward to all that I will add to my life as I let go of the ubiuity the artificiality of connection I want to learn to be better connected to and present in my real world life

  9. Mehrsa Mehrsa says:

    I like the idea in here less is We do not need all the apps and the social platforms He's definitely talking to someone like me here I am not a huge consumer of these platforms mostly this is age related However I listened to his book using audible and some apps have really helped me expand my mind meditation apps and audible are two There is no room in Newport's framework for using smartphones in a good way He's sort of an intellectual luddite I get this and sometimes I think it's easier to draw crisp and bright lines and never walk over them lest you get sucked in but perhaps we need to think about our relationship with our app filled phones before we just swear them off I think the better plan would be to practice radical consciousness when dealing with tech To not walk numbly and dumbly into each platform and let it take our free will

  10. K.J. Dell& K.J. Dell& says:

    I've been thinking a lot these days about making deliberate tech choices No one human not even Steve Jobs ever expected technology to invade our lives the way it has Instead keeping us tethered to our tech and pulling that lever became the most popular and obvious way to monetize the Internet and we individuals became not the consumers but the product being sold And instead of cutting ourselves some slack billions of dollars have been spent in the name of making the screens around us stickier and sticker is it any wonder we're drawn in?—we feel guilty as I did the other night about being too weak to just shut it off and look away The perfect antidote to that guilt is Cal Newport's Digital Minimalism Newport skips the guilt noting that we didn't ask for this and really could not have been prepared for it and challenges to ask ourselves what am I trying to do when I use this technology—and is this the best way to serve that goal? Build a philosophy around your tech use and you’ll use your tech wisely I'm trying and this book is helping

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