Digital Minimalism Summary – March 2022

Author: Cal Newport

Short Summary
Digital Minimalism (2019) teaches us about having a balance between real life and digital life. Especially the author Cal Newport has helped in understanding the importance of digital detox to live a focused life. Moreover, the author has shared some useful tips to become a digital minimalist.
digital minimalism summary
Source: amazon.com

Detailed Summary 

Have you ever wanted to deactivate all your social media accounts and just stay alone for a while? Then High-five because you are not alone.

What I believe is that social media is responsible for our mental illness. And this is what the author Cal Newport explained in his book. He talks about the importance of a balance between real and digital life. And without a balance, we become social media slaves. Just think about your ancestors when there was no concept of social media. Not even phones. At least my ancestors didn’t have phones. But they still lived a happy life. Isn’t it true? But today, we are so busy connecting with people online that we forgot about the people sitting in front of us.

Let’s just talk about digital minimalism. So, according to Cal Newport, digital minimalism is a philosophy that encourages us to use social media only for those activities which support the things we value. And minus the other things on social media which bring no good. We all have heard the phrase “Excess of everything is bad” right? It helps us understand that using anything beyond its limits is dangerous. This is what the author says in his book and also motivates us how to be digital minimalists.

Digital Minimalism Summary Key Points

Three principles of digital minimalism

The book shares some principles of digital minimalists. The first principle is based on economics. You just won’t spend your money on buying anything. That means if you buy a car then you would also have to have stress and effort to earn that money just to buy a car. It is a healthier option to have a car but maybe the best option is to walk ( You will also keep healthier and fit )

 Secondly, don’t start using any technology without knowing its benefits, and don’t just add stuff to your life without thinking ( Stuff=New technologies) because it will not improve your life.

The third one is Amish. That means looking for it to build healthier relationships along with the technologies. People look for new ideas and products and then use them to test them. They use a realistic approach towards anything and we all should use the same.

The Digital Declutter

Nowadays, we spend too much time on social media that we forget what’s going on around us. We are actually in digital clutter and we need to declutter it to become a digital minimalist. Now let me explain how to do it!

There are two categories of technologies I.e optional and non-optional. Now, you have to figure out which technology is optional to you and which is non-optional. The technologies that are optional to you need to be eliminated from your life. So, stop using them for 30 days in the beginning. Keep yourself away from them for a month at least. Go on a digital detox. Meanwhile, figure out what activities satisfy you. And then re-introduce yourself to the technologies that you think give you benefit. But just benefit is not enough, it should also serve you value. This digital detox will give you clarity and provide you with the reasons to re-introduce optional technology back into your life.

As long as the non-optional technologies are concerned, write standard operating procedures (SOP) for them and follow them.

Importance of solitude

I recently read somewhere that “We must become so alone, so utterly alone that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then, our solitude is overcome and we are no longer alone.” These words are stuck in my head and make a lot of sense to me.

Digital life has drained our energy that we treat loneliness like an illness. Fortunately, digital minimalism includes several suggested behaviors that provide the meaningful experience that many digital-based activities lack. Solitude is one of them. Depression, eating disorders, loneliness, and anxiety are all linked to smartphone addiction. “Solitude deprivation” is another word for what this generation of young people going through when you spend 24/7 on social media and spend no time alone.

We must spend time alone to digest our feelings. Clarity is also important for overall mental health and well-being. The good news is that solitude can be beneficial. It fosters original and creative thinking as well as a greater appreciation for human interactions when they do occur. When you spend time alone, you focus on your thoughts and it helps you in generating new ideas. Moreover, you will be able to better understand yourself.

Digital Minimalism Quotes

Some of my favorite quotes from the book are:

“Simply put, humans are not wired to be constantly wired.” -Cal Newport

“Phones have become woven into a fraught sense of obligation in friendship. . . . Being a friend means being “on-call”—tethered to your phone, ready to be attentive, online.” -Cal Newport

Digital Minimalism Review

I would say that everyone should read this book! Minimalism, according to the author, is the skill of understanding how much is exactly right. This concept is applied to our technology. It’s the secret to living a focused existence in a world that’s becoming increasingly noisy. People who are digital minimalists are peaceful and joyful, and they can hold extended conversations without looking at their phones. They can lose themselves in a good book, a woodworking project, or a morning run. Moreover, they keep up with the news of the day, but they aren’t overwhelmed by it. They have no “fear of missing out” because they already know what activities give them satisfaction.

Who would I recommend Digital Minimalism Summary to?

Digital Minimalism Summary is highly recommended to all social media addicts. Especially, anyone who wants to reduce their screen timing should read this. Moreover, anyone who wants to live a well-balanced and focused life should give it a read. It will help them become a digital minimalist.

Link: https://amzn.to/3vnc6Jf