Just as Kondo suggests organising our physical spaces to achieve calm, in Digital Minimalism: On Living Better With Less Technology, Cal Newport argues that we can do the same for our digital spaces. Newport's "digital minimalists" have learned how to have a meaningful, mindful and balanced relationship with technology - using it to "support" personal goals, rather than letting it "use" them.
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.
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.
Intentionality is satisfying. Digital minimalists derive significant satisfaction from their general commitment to being more intentional about how they engage with new technologies.
"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
My long-time friend and mentor, Cal Newport, has just released a new book, Digital Minimalism. The basic premise is one you've heard before: digital addictions, from social media to constant texting, have invaded our attentions, reduced our productivity and made our lives worse. The antidote isn't to smash your smartphones and live as the Amish ...
Right now, for so many people self-isolating in the face of the escalating coronavirus pandemic, technology is the main link to the outside world. It's allowing us to maintain crucial contact with friends, family, and coworkers, and providing information and much-needed outlets for joy, amusement, and creativity in a rather bleak time.
Technology, just like the mind, is a very good slave, but a bad master. The technologies by itself are life-giving and useful, but if we are spending the whole day on Twitter, fighting with whoever we don’t agree with, we are ruining our psychological health.
We tend to spiral into the news black hole for hours, but just looking at the front page of the New York Times or Washington Post once or twice a day should be enough.