“How can one clarify and disentangle one’s digital life?” has become one of the most asked questions. Overflowing inboxes, hundreds of notifications, and scrolling endlessly might indicate how we’re not really in control of our habits that are reflected in our browsing and streaming choices.
The only way to use technology and not be used is Digital Minimalism.
Digital Minimalism was coined by the author and computer science professor Cal Newport in his book of the same name. The philosophy of the subject is that of our relationship with the digital applications we use, for it is one of the areas concerning technology and human behavior/response to it that deserve immediate attention.
Cal’s interesting observation is that both email and chat can be trying and productive.
Facebook can be both distracting and useful.
Using one’s device and applications can be both a productive experience or a waste of time and energy and result in a very exacting experience. Therefore, striking a balance between these two sides of the digital experience is what digital minimalism aims for.
Let’s go ahead and understand Digital Minimalism more clearly so that you can practice it and lead a healthier digital life in 30 days.
- What comprises Digital Minimalism
- Digital Cleansing: A 30-day practice of digital minimalism
- A Few exercises for maintaining a life of a digital minimalist
- The importance of ‘Intention.’
What comprises Digital Minimalism
The popularity of the concept of ‘minimalism’ has only grown over the years.
‘Less is more has never been out of vogue, and even in an age like ours, when the phrase ‘more is more’ has been extended to content consumption and virtual lifestyle, it holds a lot of weight and substance.
Minimalism is about reducing the level of consumption and reducing the ‘stuff’ that we own, but its major focus is on highlighting the ‘intention’ behind the same. If one’s ‘intention’ is resolved and not caught up in a conflict, the exercise of minimalism becomes smoother.
“Minimalists tend to spend much less money and own fewer things than their peers. They also tend to be much more intentional and often quite radical in shaping their lives around things that matter to them.”
We can wake up one day and get rid of all the applications that occupy us, like Facebook and Instagram. But Minimalism, as mentioned earlier, values intent above any other thing. Once we’re intentional in our approach towards minimalism and develop a positive attitude towards its achievement, we can practice it daily.
The solution isn’t that simple, though.
The issue here is not the magnitude of technology usage but how its use is connected with the good and the bad.
According to a research, people are much more likely to:
- Spend up to 5 hours on their phone
- Check emails and chat every six minutes or less
- Use 56+ apps and tools a day and switch between them more than 300 times
- Multitask for at least 40% of their day
All of this exacts a heavy toll on mental health, focus, and the ability to think clearly.
The more time we put into applications that drain our attention, the more likely we will develop impediments that constrain our ability to think soundly and reflect upon subjects calmly. It makes us all the more impatient and less focussed. The creative power dwindles, finding a way out of our system.
The most important elements of digital minimalism are:
- One must be very clear with their intention of using a certain application and be conscious of its values.
- Optimization of device usage and segregating the good from the bad.
- The most important part is the acceptance of limiting one’s virtual presence to only those digital facilities and social media that are of immediate importance.
Digital Cleansing: A 30-day practice of digital minimalism
Developing a minimalist mindset is not particularly an easy task. Cal writes about an effective method of achieving it in 30 days.
Values are of utmost importance to the idea of digital minimalism. Which is what will be judged against each digital tool we acquaint ourselves with.
Therefore, a tendency to question oneself and one’s priorities are significant in this process.
Please make a list of all those applications that one can do without.
Several such applications don’t require our attention every day and can be done away with.
This step involves observing the precise time when we find ourselves reaching out for technology.
During these moments of the day, one can try filling the void of time by practicing creative and interesting activities like reading books, playing outdoor or indoor games, swimming, cycling, etc.
Once a break from optional applications and technologies is achieved, one can reintroduce a couple of them back into their daily routine only after weighing the cons with the values they uphold.
One might ask a fundamental question,
“How does this technology align with the values that I hold?”
And this step would automatically become easy.
Ignoring all the other applications and technologies, apart from the optional ones.
“The fact that a[ piece of technology] offers some value is irrelevant- the digital minimalist deploys technology to serve the things they find most important in their life, and is happily missing out on everything else.”
A Few exercises for maintaining a life of a digital minimalist
Without consistency, we can never achieve the end goal of what we’re after. This is why consistency is one of the most important requirements for becoming a digital minimalist. To achieve so, one can one’s time with recreational activities, as mentioned above. Some other activities are as follows:
- Spending time alone can be a very therapeutic recreation segment during the 30-days of minimalism.
- Reduction of performative activities on applications must be avoided to create a healthy distance from them.
- Hobbies deserve more of our attention than technology. In this day and age, when the want for hobbies has lost its vigor, one can develop hobbies by truly dedicating a chunk of their daily routine to its application.
- One doesn’t have to use all the available facilities on their devices. One can start by deleting some of these.
The importance of intention
Digital minimalism is a way of clearly defining what sorts of technologies one requires for what specific purpose.
This can be achieved once the intent of using a particular technology is well-realized and properly charted out by people. Only then can digital minimalism work its charm. Here at JobsPivot, we offer career opportunities from reputable firms spanning across different states in the singapore.JobsPivot effectively connects employers with the right talents.to find Full Time Jobs visit us.