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Three crucial benefits of mastering solitude:

  1. You will realize you are better able to establish new ideas
  2. You will develop a better understanding of the self
  3. You will obtain closeness with others that you previously were unable to obtain.

Another benefit is that you develop a greater appreciation for social interactions.

The millennial and iGen generation are the first generations to be living without solitude. Studies show these children spend, on average, 9 hours per day consuming digital media. The result is a sharp rise in anxiety disorders. 


567 reads


<p>3. Seek activities that req...

3. Seek activities that require real-world social interactions – Cal Newport describes the interaction between the internet and leisure as a renaissance. Every individual has more leisure options at their disposal than ever before. The internet can be a positive thing if used to find genuine soci...


366 reads

Based on Cal Newport’s consideration of interactions, he suggests that textual or non-interactive exchanges are not conversations. Sending somebody a Whatsapp is not a proper interaction. So, Cal Newport is recommending readers to downgrade their idea of connections to a logistical role. Although...


418 reads

Digital minimalism is an uncommon approach to technology. Minimalists do not just use technology whenever it provides any potential benefit, no matter how small. Minimalists are more concerned with protecting the large certainties in their lives. Sometimes technology might provide minor benefits ...


1.33K reads

“The urge to check Twitter or refresh Reddit becomes a nervous twitch that shatters uninterrupted time into shards too small to support the presence necessary for an intentional life.”



741 reads

Cal Newport provides arguments for each principle of digital minimalism. The first principle is supported by Thoreau’s New Economics theory and is based on one of his quotes: 



981 reads

Digital Declutter

Digital Declutter

Step-by-step processes:

  1. Put aside 30 days to take a break from technologies that are not essential.
  2. Use these 30 days to learn new skills, activities, and behaviors that you find meaningful.
  3. At the end of the break, you can start reintroducing technologies by starting w...


701 reads

Thoreau’s New Economics

Thoreau’s New Economics

Cal Newport provides arguments for each principle of digital minimalism. The first principle is supported by Thoreau’s New Economics theory and is based on one of his quotes: 


1.06K reads

Consolidate Texting

Consolidate Texting

Texting should not be something you slip in and out of during the day. By default, Cal Newport recommends keeping your phone in Do Not Disturb mode. You should also schedule specific times for texting. 

As well as offering unwanted distractions, replying throughout the day to text messages ...


464 reads

Spend Time Alone

Spend Time Alone

Cal Newport encourages readers to consider the importance of solitude in their lives. Solitude isn't about being alone in your environment but about what's happening in your brain. If you have mastered solitude in your life, you can even engage with solitude on the busiest train. 

Avoiding ...


613 reads

The Principles of Digital Minimalism

The Principles of Digital Minimalism

  1. Clutter is costly – Cal Newport is not just talking about physical clutter. You want to avoid cluttering your time and attention with too many devices, apps and services. If you do not reduce this clutter, your small benefits will diminish.
  2. Optimization is essential – To extract maxi...


1.15K reads

He identifies several things you can do to start making this change and adopt digital minimalism:

  • Only keep the technologies that you require
  • Spend time alone away from friends/family and your technology
  • Take long walks to help clear your head
  • Stop viewing virtu...


439 reads

Don’t Click Like!

Don’t Click Like!

Cal Newport suggests you avoid clicking like or commenting on social media posts. Engaging with these behaviors will only teach your mind that these interactions are a reasonable alternative to proper conversations. On the flip side, completely removing these behaviors from your life will force y...


474 reads

“My argument is not anti-technology… it’s pro-conversation.”



448 reads

“We live in a world that is working to eliminate touch as one of our senses, to minimize the use of our hands to do things except poke at a screen.”



432 reads

Write Letters to Yourself

Write Letters to Yourself

Writing in and of itself has many benefits. The same parts of the brain are used while writing as when going about your social life. The loss of social connection in our lives can also trigger the same brain systems like those seen when you are in physical pain. This is why research has found pai...


464 reads

Reclaim Leisure

Reclaim Leisure

High-quality leisure is crucial for human happiness. Despite this, more and more people are struggling to claim this all-important leisure. We forget about the insufficient high-quality leisure we have because we fill this time with digital noise. That said, this digital noise does not have the s...


411 reads

The Return Curve

The Return Curve

Cal Newport explains that the same law of diminishing returns seen in economics can be applied to technology. Most people’s personal technology relationships are on the early part of the return curve. This means that initial additions of technology will yield massive returns. That said, the value...


793 reads

Practices to Reclaim Leisure

Practices to Reclaim Leisure

Fix or Build Something Every Week

One way to create meaningful leisure that utilizes touch is by fixing or building something weekly. This might be changing your car oil, installing a new light fixture, or building your first shed. 


392 reads

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



1.31K reads

<p>To provide a simple outline...

To provide a simple outline of how you can start to reclaim leisure, Cal Newport provides three leisure lessons:

  1. Prioritize demanding activity over passive consumption – Cal Newport encourages people to engage more in crafts. He introduces the idea of crafts as any activity where you a...


394 reads

What is Digital Minimalism?

Digital Minimalism is not what standard technology articles suggest. Instead of a quick fix approach, digital minimalism should be a philosophy you live by. Specifically, a technology philosophy whereby you focus your online time on only a few crucial digital tools. Digital tools should not be us...


1.58K reads

<p><strong><em>Schedule Your L...

Schedule Your Low-Quality Leisure

You will inevitably engage with some low-quality leisure during your time. That saio, to prevent these activities from taking over your life, Cal Newport recommends scheduling these low-quality leisure times in advance. H...


363 reads

Reclaim Your Conversations

Reclaim Your Conversations

Digital media has warped what healthy conversations look like and reduced our ability to form true connections. Cal Newport describes connections in the modern world as low-bandwidth interactions that define our online social lives. Many people view conversations and connections as two separate a...


451 reads

The Amish Hacker

Cal Newport provides one of the Amish community’s principles as a justification for his third principle. You want to start with the technologies that you value the most. Then, declutter by working backward and asking yourself whether this next technology performs more harm than good.


761 reads

You should be thinking about what you have to exchange for new technology rather than the value you can gain. More often than not, people consider how specific digital tools can bring further value to their lives. So, balance the value you gain from new technology against the costs measured in te...


875 reads



The digital world has a significant impact on all of our lives. That said, this doesn’t mean its impact is entirely positive. Cal Newport argues that technology is here to stay, so we must learn how to extract its best qualities and remove its bad ones. 


360 reads

<p>To fully tap into solitude ...

To fully tap into solitude while walking, you should regularly take long walks. If you can, aim to walk in areas that are scenic and go on these walks alone. To Cal Newport, alone means without people, but also without your phone. Do not let the weather put you off going on a long walk. It does n...


502 reads

<p><strong>Take Long Walks</st...

Take Long Walks

To highlight the importance of walking, Cal Newport talks about Nietzsche’s view. Nietzsche outlined that all great thoughts are produced while walking. Subsequently, the famous philosopher would walk up to eight hours a day. These walks were accompanied by ...


516 reads

“The tycoons of social media have to stop pretending that they’re friendly nerd gods building a better world and admit they’re just tobacco farmers in T-shirts selling an addictive product to children. Because, let’s face it, checking your “likes” is the new smoking.”



2.21K reads

Practices to Adopt

Practices to Adopt

Leave Your Phone at Home

Cal Newport emphasizes the importance of losing the notion that not having your phone is a crisis. Once you lose this feeling, you can start spending some time away from your phone on most days. Cal Newport doesn’t recommend ditching your phone alto...


543 reads

<p>2. Prioritize demanding act...

2. Prioritize demanding activity over passive consumption – Cal Newport encourages people to engage more in crafts. He introduces the idea of crafts as any activity where you apply the skill to something valuable. So, crafts are a good source of high-quality leisure. Crafts also help build your s...


358 reads

<p><strong><em>Follow Your Lei...

Follow Your Leisure Plans

Your free time should be as well planned as your productive time. So, planning out quarterly & weekly leisure plan objectives, Just like any objective, should be specific & measurable. Plus, identify habits you should develop to ...


347 reads




Book summaries mostly ...

Digital Minimalism outlines how we can obtain value from technology while limiting the drawbacks associated with digital clutter. Minimalism is the art of knowing how much is just enough. Digital minimalism applies this idea to our technology. It is the key to living a focused life in an increasingly noisy world. Cal Newport provides an outline of how excessive technology is ruining our leisure time and our interactions. The alternative is stripping your technology back to the minimal tools that improve your life and interactions with others.


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