Summary of Digital Minimalism

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

Hello, I'm Sankara and I'm a social media and smartphone addict :). Social media and smartphone are not always recognized as an addiction, at least not clinically but the result is the same. They consume so much of our time and influence our mood that at times we could fall behind on the things that really matter. Even when I read the book I wasn't fully bought into the philosophy of it. I mean I struggle with a lot of what the author had to say. I even agree with and have personally seen the way my personal and professional life is impacted by unchecked social media usage and even quit various social media platforms as a result. However, I never fully took charge of my digital life. The whole COVID situation only made it worse. This weekend (August 2020) is when I finally decided to full on and minimize my phone usage to a minimum. I'm not quitting everything in rage. I'd still stay connected. However, I'd be making a clear plan on what I want to use, why and how much and stick to it.

Why is too much digital exposure bad?

The incentives of social media, or for any consumption tool for that matter, is designed to maximise attention and usage. They have a way of cultivating behavioral addictions. We may have joined Facebook to stay in touch with our friends the world, but we end up being unable to maintain a conversation with a friend sitting across from us. The constant exposure to a carefully crafted portrayal of our friends' lives generates feelings of inadequacy. It's especially hard for teenagers.

I’ve become convinced that what you need instead is a full-fledged philosophy of technology use, rooted in your deep values, that provides clear answers to the questions of what tools you should use and how you should use them and, equally important, enables you to confidently ignore everything else. “You see how few things you have to do to live a satisfying and reverent life?”

We added new technologies to the periphery of our experience for minor reasons, then woke one morning to discover that they had colonized the core of our daily life. We didn’t, in other words, sign up for the digital world in which we’re currently entrenched; we seem to have stumbled backward into it.

Addiction is a condition in which a person engages in use of a substance or in a behavior for which the rewarding >effects provide a compelling incentive to repeatedly pursue the behavior despite detrimental consequences.

lack of positive feedback creates a sense of distress. This is serious business for the Paleolithic brain, and therefore it can develop an urgent need to continually monitor this “vital” information.

What is Digital Minimalism

Digital Minimalism A philosophy of technology use in which you focus your online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly support things you value, and then happily miss out on everything else.

minimalists don’t mind missing out on small things; what worries them much more is diminishing the large things they already know for sure make a good life good.

Similar to other minimalistic philosophies, the point is to not avoid everything rather to examine and understand what really matters to us.

Principle #1: Clutter is costly. Digital minimalists recognize that cluttering their time and attention with too many devices, apps, and services creates an overall negative cost that can swamp the small benefits that each individual item provides in isolation.

Principle #2: Optimization is important. Digital minimalists believe that deciding a particular technology supports something they value is only the first step. To truly extract its full potential benefit, it’s necessary to think carefully about how they’ll use the technology.

Principle #3: Intentionality is satisfying. Digital minimalists derive significant satisfaction from their general commitment to being more intentional about how they engage with new technologies. This source of satisfaction is independent of the specific decisions they make and is one of the biggest reasons that minimalism tends to be immensely meaningful to its practitioners.

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