Book review: Digital Minimalism – On Living Better with Less Technology by Cal Newport

Book review: Digital Minimalism – On Living Better with Less Technology by Cal Newport

What’s it about:

The philosophy of technology use in which you focus your online time to a small number of carefully selected and optimised activities that strongly support the things you value, and then happily missing out on everything else.

It highlights the theory behind how living with less technology is better for your health, happiness and relationships. This is evidence that replacing your real world relationships with social media use is detrimental to your well being. It explores interesting and thought provoking ideas, including ones such as that the use of social media and smartphones is culpable for the increase in young adult mental health issues.

It contains strategies and techniques to digitally de clutter your own life. While also touching on the ideas humans need time alone as well as ideas about how platforms are developed to get us to spend as much time as possible on them.

It brings up issues within the current and modern day world including points around connection no longer being an alternative to conversation, instead it should be it’s supporter.

The creators of social media platforms and apps want us to spend as much time within their products as possible in order to maximise their advertising returns from us. Our time is their money, which leads you to think about the methods of how they do this including endless scrolling, red notification alerts, are all created to induce a feeling of urgency and FOMO if you do not use their ‘service’.

What gripped you:

Starting with a philosophy and idea, backing up by the theory and then providing the reader with actionable strategies to implement within their own lives.

This book provided a how to in digitally decluttering my own life which has lead to great things coming out of it, including the revelation of how much time I spend on social media and/or my phone in general, by deleting the apps off my phone. Cutting this down and gaining time which has been invested in high quality leisure activities that I feel have benefited both my career and personal life, including the time to read more and be more present in social situations which I feel has enriched my life.

It highlighted to me how easy it is to get lost in hours of low quality leisure and consumption within these platforms and apps, and how once you notice yourself going into a blackhole of content consumption it empowers you in ways to not time be wasted in this way.

Three things you remember:

Our time is their (Facebook, Google, etc) money.
By using technology less in your personal life, you miss out on far less than you think you will at first.
Digital Minimalism is not hating technology, it’s a concept that you can live happier and healthier with less but specifically chosen technology.

Why would you recommend:

Thought provoking, actionable and interesting points, ideas, concepts and arguments.