Minimalism is the art of knowing how much is just enough. Digital minimalism applies this idea to our personal technology. It's the key to living a focused life in an increasingly noisy world.
In this timely and enlightening book, the bestselling author of Deep Work introduces a philosophy for technology use that has already improved countless lives.
Digital minimalists are all around us. They're the calm, happy people who can hold long conversations without furtive glances at their phones. They can get lost in a good book, a woodworking project, or a leisurely morning run. They can have fun with friends and family without the obsessive urge to document the experience. They stay informed about the news of the day, but don't feel overwhelmed by it. They don't experience "fear of missing out" because they already know which activities provide them meaning and satisfaction.
Now, Newport gives us a name for this quiet movement, and makes a persuasive case for its urgency in our tech-saturated world. Common sense tips, like turning off notifications, or occasional rituals like observing a digital sabbath, don't go far enough in helping us take back control of our technological lives, and attempts to unplug completely are complicated by the demands of family, friends and work. What we need instead is a thoughtful method to decide what tools to use, for what purposes, and under what conditions.
Drawing on a diverse array of real-life examples, from Amish farmers to harried parents to Silicon Valley programmers, Newport identifies the common practices of digital minimalists and the ideas that underpin them. He shows how digital minimalists are rethinking their relationship to social media, rediscovering the pleasures of the offline world, and reconnecting with their inner selves through regular periods of solitude. He then shares strategies for integrating these practices into your life, starting with a thirty-day "digital declutter" process that has already helped thousands feel less overwhelmed and more in control.
Technology is intrinsically neither good nor bad. The key is using it to support your goals and values, rather than letting it use you. This book shows the way.
I approached Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism as the sequel to his hugely impactful Deep Work. It’s the synthesis of Cal’s learnings over the three years since Deep Work was published and is a timely cultural critique on our reliance on technology and a practical guide to regaining control of our attention.
Deep Work is perhaps the most valuable skill you can learn and leverage in our attention-deficit society. In Digital Minimalism, Newport makes an unsettlingly strong case for how and why we should be reducing our use of technology (in particular, social media), and why we need to be more specific and careful about our use.
Digital Minimalism is a philosophy that will teach you where to draw the line and how to focus this energy and attention on what matters instead; your goals and quality of life. Time off our digital devices is the key to living a focused life in a noisy world.
“A manifesto of great practical import for our modern age….I estimate that [my interview with Cal] rates among the most consequential conversations I’ve had in the 6+ year history of this podcast.” —Rich Roll, host of the Rich Roll Podcast, author of Finding Ultra