Digital Minimalism

Building Healthy Habits and Boundaries

Book reviews

Written by: Ellen Young

03.12.2020

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By: Cal Newport

Building Healthy Habits and Boundaries  

As an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, Cal Newport brings us a breath of fresh air regarding our everyday use of technology. His aim is to address the collective concerns from overuse of daily technology and social media.

This book, in conjunction with his first book, Deep Work, will help each of us develop habits and boundaries to begin using our laptops, phones, TV’s, and tablets in a way more congruent to a more balanced life, a life of “digital minimalism.” 

“Digital Minimalism: 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.” 

When we think of addiction, we may imagine issues with alcohol or drugs, but Newport does well to point out and back up the claim that social media and technology has changed our brain chemistry. The very basis for addiction.  

The good news is, it’s not our fault AND it’s not what we signed up for. Nevertheless, here we are. We like the “like” button on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and that’s OK. I enjoyed learning about the psychology behind these gizmo’s and gadgets that have entered our daily vernacular and have indeed changed our way of life. 

Practicing Digital Minimalism 

Here are The Principles of Digital Minimalism: 

#1 Clutter is Costly 

#2 Optimization is Important 

#3 Intentionally Satisfying 

For more information on these principles and easy practices with which to start your daily life as a “digital minimalist,” go get this book!  

Okay, you want one easy tip you can start today: leave your phone at home. 

If I could describe this book in one word, that word would be, “productive.”  •