Digital Minimalism | Practical Tips and Tricks

Digital Minimalism

What’s in it for me? Learn how to take back your life from the powerful forces of the attention economy.

There have been a myriad of technological innovations over the last twenty years or so, however one that isn’t likely to come immediately could be that of”Like” button “Like” feature. When this “Like” button was introduced in 2007 on the long-forgotten feed aggregater FriendFeed It was just a matter of time until it was a standard feature on all social media platforms to be followed. This simple feature, as well as the constant notifications it creates are a great method to gather data about our habits and preferences, and to keep users engaged.

It’s not surprising that people are beginning to challenge social media, and realize that these tools could cause more harm than positive. In fact, a steady stream of research has opened us to numerous negative impacts of smartphones and social media.

In this book the Professor Cal Newport conducted his own study. 1,600 people followed his rules during a one-month sabbatical from technology and provided the professor with valuable feedback. The outcome of this research is digital minimalism, an opportunity to unwind from the raging of digital noise and discover a the most satisfying and enjoyable way of living.

In these short videos you’ll discover

  • How social media can be compared to big tobacco
  • What ways the Amish can assist you to make the most of your smartphone and
  • How your attention became more important than oil.

These days, devices intended for telephone calls and portable music have turned into addictive and dangerous tools.

In 2016, New York magazine published an article by well-known journalist Andrew Sullivan. In 7,000 words, Sullivan’s writer explained how the constant bombardment of information, images and internet chatter finally “broke” his. You’re probably familiar with the issues Sullivan wrote about: the constant need to pull out your phone and go through your text messages, emails, and social media feeds and the numbing feeling of a moment you’re not using any digital media. How did we get there?

A crucial thing to consider is that the technology at the heart of this issue was meant to be used differently than it is today. In the year the first smartphone, called the iPhone, was launched in 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the device as “the greatest iPhone that ever.” This was a fun method of making phone calls and listening to music. As per Andy Grignon, an Apple engineer working on the initial iPhone initiative, Jobs dismissed the idea of the iPhone becoming a platform for third-party software and gaming.

As far as Facebook is concerned, it was established as a popular social network in 2004. Facebook was seen as a brilliant idea – a method to learn more about the friend of a friend but not a significant source of news or an effective time-waster. For most college students in 2004, the computer-based game of strategy Snood was much more well-known than Facebook.

In the beginning, when people introduced iPhones and Facebook to their homes, They weren’t signing up for something they’d be glancing at the entire day. This addictive and dangerous side to technology has been gaining ground on us because of the deliberate activities of the social media engineer. In a 2017 episode on The HBO chat program The Real Time, Bill Maher spoke of the “social media business tycoons” as the latest big tobacco that sells products that are designed to be as addictive as possible.

Indeed, plenty was written regarding strategies to grab and hold our attention, including how some tech companies profit from our natural desire for social acceptance. One of the essential innovations took place in 2009 when Facebook introduced the thumbs-up button, a variation of FriendFeed’s “like” button. When someone shared something, it was an incredibly interactive experience. What percentage of my community would appreciate what I wrote? There was a strong urge to check in regularly, and we’ve become attuned to the sound of notifications associated with these responses.

Digital minimalism is based on the philosophy that less can be more.

If we want to defend ourselves from the brilliant mind that is a part of Silicon Valley, eager to make use of our weaknesses and weaknesses, we must have a robust defence. That’s why this author, Cal Newport, proposes living a life he describes as digital minimalistism.

Plenty of experts offer quick fixes, such as turning off notifications on your phone. However, Newport is still determining if these minor adjustments will have any impact over the long term. For instance, the author of one article stated that he had disabled notifications on 112 apps. This raises the question: are you required to have this many apps?

Digital minimalism is the old-fashioned idea that more excellent living comes from a lower amount of. The name is intentionally similar to the minimalist style of living advocated by authors such as Marie Kondo, who propose the only things you allow in your life that you are happy with. Newport applies this concept to your digital apps and suggests that you consider asking what this website, app, or service truly reflects. What is important to me in such a manner that no one else can?

Digital minimalism is a second step that demands you maximize the technology’s benefits while reducing your time and effort expenses. If your professional career will benefit from Twitter, you should use it with care by establishing clear rules that let you enter, complete what is required, and then leave.

Tyler was among the 1,600 who participated in the author’s experiments with minimalist digital design. He had signed up on several social media platforms to stay connected to friends, entertainment and social networking. However, following the principles that digital minimalism teaches, he realized that the advantages of social media are not that significant compared to what it took to pay for it. Tyler removed his social media accounts, and a year later, he is still delighted with the changes that digital minimalism has made in his lifestyle. He’s exercising more, taking more time to read, volunteering, and learning to play the piano. Despite all that, his children have more time, and he is more concentrated on work. Tyler is familiar with people who say that they cannot stop using social media, but at the moment, Tyler doesn’t see any reason to keep using it.

The principles of digital minimalism are based on two economic hallmarks and the wisdom of the Amish.

Digital minimalism is founded on three pillars: clutter costs money, Optimization is crucial, and a sense of purpose is satisfying.

The principle that is the first to be discussed is The first principle is related to New Economics famously promoted by Henry David Thoreau in his book Walden. The basic idea is that New Economics includes life costs when determining what a product is worth. For instance, if you would like to purchase a vehicle to go to the town instead of walking. Thoreau will remind you of the fact that the cost that you are paying for your car isn’t just its expense but also the time and stress required to earn this cash and keep the vehicle safe and operating correctly. The final price could be much higher than the benefits of walking to town. This scrutiny should be incorporated into every digital media you allow in your life. Consider what you’re gaining from it and the time and effort costs. Are you confident that you could do the same job differently?

The second principle is related to another hallmark of the economy. This is the Law of Diminishing Returns, so you cannot just add more things and expect constant improvements. If, for instance, you’re producing cars, the initial workers you hire will boost the output. However, you’ll eventually get to a point where the assembly line won’t be able to take the additional pressure. Workers are crashing into each other, and things start to slow.

Instead of building automobiles, you would like to keep up-to-date with the current news. Moving from a single source to two news sources is an enormous improvement. If you’re jamming your social media feed with multiple sources, it will turn into an unending, unintelligible distraction. Instead of adding more sources, improving your tools’ efficiency is better. For instance, perhaps the Instapaper application is better over social networks. The app lets you find engaging content during the week and then go through it on the weekend and without advertisements!

Thirdly, we will examine the Amish lifestyle. It is commonplace to think of Amish as a group of people who are Amish as being anti-technology; however, it’s not so simple. The Amish accept only technology after examining and evaluating it before using it. Sometimes, such as using a cutting-edge milling machine, They’ll use it. But if it does not reflect their community’s and family’s core values, it will be removed from their premises. The same approach of valuing your values to each tool you utilize. Does it truly benefit and enhance your beliefs and what you’re trying to achieve, or is it better not to use it?

Undergoing a digital declutter begins with a thirty-day break, followed by a critical reintroduction of certain tools.

If the concepts of digital minimalism sound appealing, the best first step is to go through 30 days of decluttering your computer. It is essential to realize that this isn’t an actual detox since a cleanse means you’ll be back to your everyday routines. The purpose of this time is to stop the activities you’ve been engaging in to think about the possibility of a fresh approach.
Keep this in mind. For the next thirty days, eliminate all unnecessary technology from your life. This includes anything optional to function and work every day.
It’s not easy to be depressed when you realize the many addictions you’ve cultivated. However, most people in Newport’s study of 1,600 participants discovered that they were soon forgetting about their smartphones or the app they’d instantly launch. Do not confuse convenience with necessity if you are trying to determine what’s essential and what’s not. You might think you’ll permanently end a relationship when you stop using Facebook. However, you may find that without social media, you’ll be able to strengthen your relationship by calling the person, visiting the person more often and having a conversation.
Another task to be completed during this time is to look at yourself and determine what’s significant to you. What are your hobbies, what do you cherish in your life, and what do you enjoy doing beyond the web? This is vital as it is coming up with something that can fill the gap left due to the lack of social media and technological advancements.
After the thirty days, a carefully planned reintroduction process starts. It involves answering three critical questions regarding any technology you consider keeping in your home. The first is, Does the technology I’m considering support something I value deeply? If yes, then move on to the following question: Is it the best way to promote this value?
Instagram could be a good way of staying connected to distant relatives; however, calling them on Skype every Sunday could be a more meaningful method of doing this. The majority of people are unaware that social media doesn’t meet the criteria for this screening.
If something can pass the first two tests, it’s time to ask the last question: How do we use the device to maximize its benefit and minimize the harm it can cause? Digital minimalists don’t simply utilize or avoid the product. Suppose they are using Twitter but do not use it on their smartphone. They only use it at least once or twice per week and only follow people they would not otherwise be able to connect to.

To prevent the symptoms of solitude deprivation, practice leaving the phone at home and walking more often.

The problem with several “life hacks” and quick solutions is that they don’t prepare you for long-lasting changes. They can help you establish a healthy, new practice, but once you’re faced with a challenge or a problem, it’s straightforward to quit and claim that the solution wasn’t working. Digital minimalism offers a wide range of recommended practices that fit with a lifestyle and have been confirmed to provide the meaningful and satisfying value missing from most digital-based tasks. First, there is the concept of solitude, a valuable resource that modern technology frequently takes away.

If your birthdate was before the mid-80s, you probably remember the times before smartphones. However, those born between 1995 and 2012 have grown up with smartphones; today, they spend 9 hours daily on these devices. A world-renowned researcher on generational issues, Jean Twenge, noticed a shocking rise in psychological health problems in this particular group, which is known as”iGen. “iGen,” with a more significant percentage of suicide, depression, anxiety disorders and homesickness and, more importantly, anxiety.

Another term to describe what iGen suffers from is isolation deprivation, or the inability to get away from screens and external sources. This is vital in processing emotions, thinking about relationships and the most essential things in life, as well as giving the brain the chance to attain some focus.

The good news is that it’s accessible. You can find it in a bustling subway train or cafe if you can focus on your thoughts for the duration of time.

The next time you go out, leave your mobile at home. If you’ve been through the times before smartphones, you’ll know they are relatively safe. If you’re worried about the possibility of an emergency, you could put it in the glove compartment or someplace in a place that’s not readily available.

Also, long walks are a traditional source of solitude, and many of the most influential philosophers of our time proclaim its benefits. Thoreau was probably its most renowned advocate, but Arthur Rimbaud, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Friedrich Nietzsche considered walking a source of inspiration for their most fantastic ideas. This indeed needs to be done with no headphones or a screen visible.

To feel less alone, stop clicking and instead schedule your texting and calling times.

Throughout thousands of years, we’ve been creating a brain that is a complex network of neurons to process a complicated social life. Logically, this brain won’t be content with emojis or hashtags. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that, as per the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the more time you spend on social media, the more likely you will be lonely.
The following suggested simple digital procedure is to quit clicking “like.”
Don’t write superficial remarks like “so awesome” and “love that.” Be careful not to fool you or anyone else into believing these are genuine human interactions or an alternative to a real conversation because they’re not. Instead, remain silent and save your remarks for your next opportunity to phone your friends or get together for the conversation we’re designed to enjoy.
If you’re concerned that your acquaintances will be able to find this silence on social media, say that you’re pulling away from such interactions. Also, when you visit someone you know, bring food that will get you more than 100 likes. Less social media will indeed lead to more social interaction. This is because you’ll have more chances to meet people.
It’s the same with messages, texts, and emails. An actual phone call is much more satisfying for our social requirements than any Emojis. Of course, text messages are helpful in situations where you’re late for an appointment or require quick confirmation. However, it could make you feel lonely if it becomes your primary communication.
A Silicon Valley executive has come up with a beneficial method that you could begin to implement, which is to schedule regular conversations. He informs everyone that you can call him every weekday at 5:15 pm and talk about anything. This is an excellent method to avoid long-winded text-based exchanges as he frequently writes back, saying we should discuss this matter anytime at 5:30.
This isn’t limited to calls to the phone, either. For example, you could have an ongoing invitation to join the coffee shop you love on Saturday mornings at 11 am Whichever you choose, engage in honest conversations, and you’ll be glad you made the effort.

For more meaningful leisure, embrace strenuous and virtuous hobbies and schedule low-quality activities.

It is crucial to remember the importance of good leisure time. The legendary philosopher Aristotle stated that for a person to live a good life, you must enjoy the time for quiet contemplation, if for only one reason: to enjoy the process itself. In the words of Aristotle, professional Kieran Setiya points out that pursuits that create a “source of inner satisfaction” are essential to living satisfaction.

The goal of minimalism in digital media is to create more space for high-quality time while limiting low-quality leisure time.

Looking at what constitutes a high-quality pursuit, the author has discovered that activities that require a lot of effort are often the most satisfying. It may seem exhausting initially; however, as the famous British author Arnold Bennett once noted, the more effort you devote to your leisure pursuits and the more effort you put into them, the more you’ll be rewarded with happiness and may even feel refreshed.

As Gary Rogowski points out in his book Craftsman, engaging with physical 3D objects is crucial to a successful and satisfying life. So, pointing your fingers at a tiny screen is unlikely to be a fulfilling or enjoyable human activity. One of the “leisure lessons” of minimalism in digital technology is to interact with the world around us by using skills and working to make valuable things. Technology can be an incredible aid. With the plethora of YouTube tutorials available, you could easily have your time making your headboard from wood or learning the basics to become a carpenter on the weekend.

You can also set leisure time objectives, such as learning the guitar parts of five Beatles songs before an intimate concert at a barbecue with a friend in just three weeks. This deadline is excellent to ensure that you keep the momentum high-quality. To help you avoid falling prey to the temptations of weekend-killing cheap leisure, the best strategy is not to quit cold turkey and not to schedule the events for specific time slots.

A cold-turkey approach can backfire, resulting in your old behaviour patterns relapsing. Therefore, start with a few small pieces of time that are low-quality on weekends and evenings while you dedicate the remainder of your time to high-quality activities. You’ll likely see a difference in quality, and the distractions of technology will slowly disappear.

Advice from the Attention Resistance includes downgrading your phone and using single-purpose devices.

With so many people hooked to their phones and social media accounts, it’s easy to consider digital minimalism an unusual and extreme concept. However, digital minimalism is one of the many aspects of a worldwide trend called “Attention Resistance.

The term “attention economy” comes from the business that many of today’s top tech companies are in,” the attention industry. Companies such as Facebook earn their revenue in the same way that tabloid newspapers did back in the 1800s. They attract large audiences and then market that audience’s attention to advertisers who offer their services and products. They can increase the number of people they can draw, and also, the longer they can keep their audience’s attention, the more revenue they earn from advertisers. Nowadays, attracting attention is more important than oil, as Google estimated it to be around $800 billion. Facebook 500 billion dollars as well as ExxonMobile in the region of $370 billion.

With that massive amount of money at stake, businesses in the attention industry are committed to exploiting human weaknesses and will do everything they can to keep you busy. Many are taking a severe stand about maintaining their Freedom and refusing to accept these strategies. One of the most successful strategies in Attention Resistance includes making your phone less sexy. If you spot somebody with a circa 2000 flip phone, it’s probably a member of the Resistance who has decided to disengage themselves from the attention market.

Another approach is turning your computer into a one-purpose device, as the first version came from Macs or PCs. This is possible by using popular blocking programs such as Freedom, the author Zadie Smith thanked in her name in her acknowledgements for her bestseller of 2012 Northwest.

Some people believe it’s a violation of the law to convert your computer back to a single-function computer like the early version of Macs and PCs, as they think you’re making your computer less efficient. However, whether you let your computer run several programs at once has nothing to do with directly affecting its power. You could even claim that you’re making it more powerful because you’ll be more productive using it as a purely-purpose device!

Although the brilliant minds of Silicon Valley may have several resources available to grab your attention, thanks to digital minimalism and the instruments of increasing Resistance, you can retain your Freedom and focus on the most important things.

Final summary

The main message of these blinks is:

A digital minimalistic method of life that seeks to combat the growing threats of the digital media environment. The increasing volume of data contributes to two facts – that companies that operate in the “attention economy” have a goal of creating products that are addictive and that greater consumption of these items can be harmful to our well-being. It is essential to reevaluate our connection to these products and phones generally. Suppose we follow the techniques and the principles of minimalism in digital technology and minimalism. In that case, we can regain our attention and achieve improved happiness in our lives.

Reliable advice:

Eliminate social media on your mobile.

If most users apply the screening method for digital minimalism to any platform, they discover that the costs are more significant than the advantages. Suppose you have a good reason to keep a presence through social networking sites. Elise the application from your mobile and only use it via a web browser. The absence of unrestricted access to social media will immediately enhance your life. With this tiny amount of effort, many people discover that social media is only somewhat beneficial. They become efficient users who only use their time as they require, meaning they have more time for high-quality pursuits.

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