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Cal Newport on Why We'll Look Back at Our Smartphones Like Cigarettes

Techno-maximalism

Techno-maximalism

It promtes the basic idea that technological innovations can bring value and convenience into your life.

It just looks at the positives. And it's view is more is better than less, because more things that bring you benefits means more total benefits. 

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Cal Newport on Why We'll Look Back at Our Smartphones Like Cigarettes

Cal Newport on Why We'll Look Back at Our Smartphones Like Cigarettes

https://www.gq.com/story/cal-newport-digital-minimalism

gq.com

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Key Ideas

Digital minimalism

It means using technology with more intention and purpose.

It's a “philosophy of technology use” rooted in reclaiming control and intention back from the devices and platforms that have hijacked it.

 You figure out what's valuable to you.  And then you happily miss out on everything else.

Putting FOMO into perspective

If you want to maximize the amount of value you feel in your life, you want to put as much of your time and effort as possible into the small number of things to give you huge rewards. 

When you think about it that way, fear of missing out looks like, just mathematically speaking, a really bad strategy.

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Instead of defaulting into the low-quality obsessions that leave us wondering where the time has gone, we should cultivate high-quality hobbies that lead to lasting satisfaction.

Re-evaluate your relationship to technology:
  • First allow for a period of abstinence.
  • Follow this by a selective re-introduction of only those tools and technologies that pass a more rigorous cost-benefit analysis than you typically impose.
Addiction and Modernity

They go hand-in-hand.

Addiction seems to be the inevitable consequence of our culturally-created environment changing faster than our biologically-hardwired brains.

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Values, Not Lifehacks

Tech is only a tool. How you use it can make it good or not so good.

We don't need a lifehack to control our phone. We need values to ensure that technology serves us, and not the other way around.

Find out what you value in life. Then ask how technology supports those values. Set rules that work for them. If you don't, tech will fill that void by default.

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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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