The key to living well in a high tech world is to spend much less time using technology.
Georgetown computer scientist Cal Newport’s Deep Work sparked a movement around the idea that unbroken concentration produces far more value than the electronic busyness that defines the modern work day. But his readers had an urgent follow-up question: What about technology in our personal lives?
In recent years, our culture’s relationship with personal technology has transformed from something exciting into something darker. Innovations like smartphones and social media are useful, but many of us are increasingly troubled by how much control these tools seem to exert over our daily experiences–including how we spend our free time and how we feel about ourselves.
In Digital Minimalism, Newport proposes a bold solution: a minimalist approach to technology use in which you radically reduce the time you spend online, focusing on a small set of carefully-selected activities while happily ignoring the rest.
He mounts a vigorous defense for this less-is-more approach, combining historical examples with case studies of modern digital minimalists to argue that this philosophy isn’t a rejection of technology, but instead a necessary realignment to ensure that these tools serve us, not the other way around.
To make these principles practical, he takes us inside the growing subculture of digital minimalists who have built rich lives on a foundation of intentional technology use, and details a decluttering process that thousands have already used to simplify their online lives. He also stresses the importance of never clicking “like,” explores the underappreciated value of analog hobbies, and draws lessons from the “attention underground”–a resistance movement fighting the tech companies’ attempts to turn us into gadget addicts.
Digital Minimalism is an indispensable guide for anyone looking to reclaim their life from the alluring diversions of the digital world.