Book Takeaway – Digital Minimalism

Author: Cal Newport
Published: February 5, 2019
Purchase Link

Synopsis

This book is changing my life. I, like most millennials, spend way to much time on my phone, on my computer, on my smart tv… on my everything digital. Cal Newport lays out an effective program for the simplification of our digital lives. He does not attempt to turn his readers into Luddites. Instead, he shows a path forward which allows for us to control our digital lives, instead of being controlled by our digital lives.

Takeaway One

We don’t own our digital lives. There are highly intelegent people being paid grand sums of money to develop software to keep us glued to our computers. These software applications are modeled after oldschool slot machines, but are far more effective and refined than the slot machine ever was. On our own, we are not equipped to manage our devices in a healthy manor, especially since they were designed to be abused.

Takeaway Two

Out digital lives consume massive quantities of attention. The average digital consumer spends 5 hours on their devices. If extrapolated over a lifetime, that equates to about 144275 hours, or 16.70 YEARS. That is horrifying. Just as important, the average digital consumer is less creative, attentive, and productive than the minority of people who pursue digital minimalism.

Takeaway Three

A better alternative to the Standard American Diet of digital consumption exists. It’s in the title ;). Digital minimalism starts with a 30 day detox of all non-essential media consumption, followed by a slow reintroduction to digial media after the detox. During the reintroduction phase, only digital media which provides true value as determined by the individual is reintroduced.

Personal Review

I personally experienced massive improvements in all aspects of my life when I went through the detox period, and then enjoyed about another month of benefits after reintroducing digital media back into my life. Unfortunately, I did not take care in my reintroduction process and ended up “relapsing”. I now find myself in the exact same spot as when I started. Needlessly consumed by my addiction to my phone. Therefore, I’m going to take on another round of Digital Minimalism Detox.

Personal Detox Rules

Avoid

  1. No Reddit
  2. No Facebook
  3. Upload Only for Youtube
  4. Upload Only Instagram

Pursue

  1. Writing material for this site
  2. Building knowledge in Ruby, Python, and Bash
  3. Spending quality time with friends and family

Ill report back in one month (November 21st) how it went!

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