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Digital Minimalism and Ancestral Health

Ancestral drives

  • We have evolved to build strong social connections with the community through face-to-face interactions;
  • Our brain requires regular periods of “solitude”;
  • We have a strong drive to see their intentions manifested concretely in the world.
A side effect of our current techno-culture is that it radically diminishes these ancestral drive in our daily lives.

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Digital Minimalism and Ancestral Health

Digital Minimalism and Ancestral Health

http://calnewport.com/blog/2019/03/16/digital-minimalism-and-ancestral-health-or-would-grok-tweet/

calnewport.com

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Key Ideas

Ancestral health movement

This movement argues that over long periods of time, evolution adapts species to their environments. It follows that when it comes to human well-being, we should pay attention to how we ate and behaved throughout the vast majority of our evolutionary history.

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Digital minimalism

Digital minimalism is a "philosophy of technology use in which you focus your online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimised activities that strongly support things you val...

The principles of digital minimalism
  1. Clutter is costly. Digital minimalists recognise 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.
  2. Optimisation is important.To truly extract the full potential benefit of a technology, it’s necessary to think carefully about how you’ll use it.
  3. Intentionality is satisfying. Digital minimalists derive significant satisfaction from their general commitment to being more intentional about how they engage with new technologies.
Our relationship with technology

"The underlying behaviours we hope to fix are ingrained in our culture, and […] they’re backed by powerful psychological forces that empower our base instincts. To re-establish control, we need to move beyond tweaks and instead rebuild our relationship with technology from scratch, using our deeply held values as a foundation." - Cal Newport

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An introvert

... is someone who enjoys solitude and focuses more on internal thoughts and feelings. 

Unlike extroverts, who gain energy from social interaction, introverts often expend energy ...

Be who you are

We really do well when we connect with others, even for brief periods. You don't need to change your nature in order to socialize more.

Instead of fighting your personality, work with it, and focus on the type and level of interactions you can do and enjoy.

Find social opportunities that work for you
  • Know your boundaries. Introverts are often not comfortable with uncertainty about when something will end. 
  • Control the setting. If going out is not easy, have people come to you.
  • Focus on activities, as a class at a local college or community center. Sometimes just being around people is enough.
  • Join a club based on your personal interests or hobbies.
  • Socialize from afar. Social media is another way for introverts to stay connected.
The Distraction of Digital Technology
Email, chat apps, social media, and other tools can be just as productive as they can be distracting. How do we get the most out of the good parts of technology while protecting ourselves from...
How technology became so exhausting

We spend all day staring at screens, read books on Kindles or iPads, and come home to relax by watching a movie or TV.

Digital technologies lump together the good with the bad.

Digital minimalism defined

As Cal Newport defines it, Digital minimalism is:

“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.”

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