Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

Digital Minimalism is a philosophy of technology in which you focus your online time on a few carefully selected activities that support the things you value.

Digital Minimalism

Digital Minimalism

  1. Addiction is a condition in which a person engages in the use of a substance or in s behavior for which the rewarding effects provide a compelling incentive to repeatedly pursue a behavior despite detrimental consequences. The outcome of posts or pull-to-refresh is hard to predict and that unpredictability makes it even more appealing.
  2. Digital minimalist thinks carefully before adding a new tool to their toolbox. Even after they add new technology to their toolbox, they remain careful about how to use it. This contrasts with a digital maximalist who signs up for random services thinking that it might benefit him. Amish start with the things they value most and then work backward to ask whether a given technology perform more good than harm or not. An alpha geek, after taking permission from the Bishop, try new technology, and the whole community will observe this person to decide whether the technology is more useful than harmful or not.
  3. Solitude requires that you move past reacting to the information created by others and focus instead on your own thoughts and experiences. Unhurried self-reflection brings new insights. It reduces anxiety. Constant connectivity and lack of solitude have impacted kids born after 1995. Mental health issues, especially anxiety, have spiked drastically in this generation.
  4. One acceptable form of social media is to use it for connections and not conversations. So, use social media to set up in-person conversations or send practical information but not for casual browsing. In that case, remove all social media apps from the phone. And use the websites occasionally from the desktop. Social media companies optimize their product for mobile usage. If you continue to use any services, give up on their mobile versions completely. Remove mobile apps. And access them solely via desktop. One positive side-effect of removing the apps is that you realize how little benefit these services usually bring to your life. A different way to declutter is to take a complete break for 30-days from all such non-essential services and then slowly and carefully reintroduce the relevant ones into your life.
  5. FI community fills their free hours with high-stress activities or active leisure. For example, Mr. Money Mustache and Frugal Woods.  In-person board games allow one to experience nuanced social interactions while at the same time, the role play restarts as soon as the new game starts, so, with little downside, it helps us experience complex rich social interactions that our brains have been trained for. Prioritize demanding activity over passive consumption. Use skills to produce valuable things in the physical world. Seek activities that require real-world structured social interactions.
  6. Rather than giving up on digital tools, especially social media, first cultivate high-quality leisure activities. That will help minimize the need for low-quality digital diversions. Schedule in advance the time you are going to spend on low-quality leisure and give yourself full freedom at that time. This strategy not only forces you to fill the rest of the time with high-quality leisure but also does not ask you to give up social media completely. Abstention activates subtle psychologies and having a fixed time to still be able to access low-quality leisure prevents those activations.

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