Listen toDigital Minimalism and you ll never again mindlessly sacrifice your productivity to clickbait or loseminutes of your evening to your Instagram feed In this timely and enlightening audiobook, Cal Newport 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 have fun with friends and family and eat out at restaurants without the obsessive urge to document the experience Now, Newport gives us a name for this quiet movement and makes a case for its urgency in our tech saturated world 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 Digital Minimalism will teach you how to rethink your relationship to social media and rediscover the pleasures of the offline world It ll help you implement aday digital declutter process, making sure you re in control of your tech and not the other way around

13 thoughts on “Digital Minimalism: On Living Better with Less Technology (Audio Download): Cal Newport, Will Damron, Penguin Books Ltd: Audible Audiobooks

  1. JM JM says:

    If you re constantly distracted by your phone as it eats away at your productivity and sense of the present , then this book offers you an antidote Like Newport s previous books, he delivers a simple message with insight and clarity This message, to use technology purposefully and within limits so that it promote your values, is a noble one.My fault with the book, however, is that Newport is increasingly focusing on the niche So Good They Can t Ignore You and Deep Work had a wide application Anyone who wanted to improve at something, whether it s their job or writing poetry, could benefit from reading them Digital Minimalism is narrowly focused on those, essentially, with digital addiction.Perhaps because my phone use is very limited as it is, I didn t find the text was very relevant to me Where I was hoping for a thorough philosophical evaluation of technology s role in our lives instead Newport offers a very practical and utilitarian manual for minimising using your phone use Good for many, I expect, but I felt it wouldn t have the impact on my habits as much as his previous work.There were sections I really enjoyed, especially on Thoreau and relating some classical philosophers work for modern life But even here, I felt the book was under researched and lacked the academic punch of his previous work It struck me as blog like In many respects, this book seemed to be a departure from the world of MIT and into those of Ryan Holiday and Greg McKeown whose quotes adorned the front page That isn t a slight, just a discernible change of tack.So buy the book if you re a digital addict looking for a way to stop staring at your phone but otherwise, the book might prove a bit light weight and irrelevant.

  2. Jl Adcock Jl Adcock says:

    Human nature, being what it is, tends to lead us to behaviours that can become addictive and unhealthy over time Walk down the street, sit in a restaurant or watch people on the train and it doesn t take long to realise that use of technology is out of control for lots of us Cal Newport s book offers some common sense approaches to living comfortably with technology The minimalist approach makes good sense, and the strategies here are worth considering, even though when you look through them they sound pretty obvious.The book takes a wider perspective on minimalism and life in general than an overview of the content suggests Drawing on examples from history, from people who learned the value of managing time well, the power of solitude and other approaches to living well, the book sometimes feels a bit padded with self help mantras before drawing these connections back to our over reliance on smart technologies.Overall, a thought provoking read, but probably the people that need this the most won t go anywhere near it Once you consider the idea of the smartphone as being a slot machine you carry around in your pocket, it is quite difficult to view the device in quite the same life improving way Big tech companies know what they are about wanting our attention to exploit it for economic gains Newport offers ideas to fight back that are seriously worth some consideration.

  3. Mr. N. Curran Mr. N. Curran says:

    If you follow Cals blog or other books this won t REALLY bring much new It s a reasonably quick read that follows topics he s brought up before in other books He does go into what to do in spare time and a philosophy of doing real world he calls analogue tasks and putting away addictive devices and tactics for either getting rid of them completely or managing them properly so they aren t time wasters He gets lots of examples from different sources and does do a good job of explaining deeply why such addictive social media is bad for us as people and a culture and how to develop a way to not waste your spare time zoning out in front of the computer on facebook netflix and actually getting out and doing and making real things I think the last bit was what stuck out with me and why I gave it a 4 rating If you ve never read any of his books before you d probably give this one a 5 rating but this is his 4th I ve read I do recommend it

  4. Ian Howlett Ian Howlett says:

    An interesting book, and very readable The stories and anecdotes had me fascinated Cal Newport writes in a way that s very enjoyable and draws you in.I give this book five stars because it was a page turner that held my interest throughout However, there were a couple of points that I felt could be improved upon The only section that was clunky was Use social media like a professional It discusses a social media expert who prefers the pronoun they their to she her Fair enough, but the confusion between singular and plural made it very difficult to understand who was being referred to, and I found it hard to read This section should have been rewritten to use direct quotes from the expert, to get around this.Also, the summary of key points for this book would be quite short, and I wonder if it was a bit longer than it really needed to be.Still, great work, and well worth a read.

  5. Chris Mac Chris Mac says:

    I echo the comments of previous reviewers This is a well researched, well written and very timely analysis of how our over reliance addiction is not too strong a word on our screens is sapping our time, our energy and our autonomy.The solutions presented are clear, logical, and perfectly reasonable both in scope and feasibility I have already started my digital declutter.It s rare that I settle down and spend an entire day reading a book from cover to cover I did so with this one, and I recommend you do the same.

  6. Haical Sajovic Haddad Haical Sajovic Haddad says:

    The reading is compelling, instructional, and practical I couldn t put Digital Minimalism down, and ended up consuming it in only 4 sits Because of that, I feel compelled to share a review before you make any commitment.Let me divide this review into 3 parts First I ll share reasons why I chose to read the book and some personal takeaways Next, a summary of the book including short excerpts I highlighted while taking notes Last, I ll suggest a few complementary readings.PERSONAL THOUGHTSI probably pre ordered this book because I ve been intrigued by how the overused of modern technologies specially social networks and social media have influenced our societies during the last 10 years This latest wave is actually recent, and being in my early 30s I still remember clearly how life was during high school and early days in college before this explosion.We all acknowledge the wonders of technology, how the development of new tools has helped the prosperity of our societies in many dimensions However, the opposite is equally important consequences that deserve to be understood and evaluated Besides the social, emotional and psychological aspects, which are the main focus of Digital Minimalism, I also care about the impacts on our physical health caused by technology overexposure Not only how the devices shape our physical posture for worst over the years but also the detrimental effects of electromagnetic fields to our overall health.That said, I ve been trying to be mindful about technology use during the last 4 5 years I still have social network accounts, but I feel quite odd among my peers because I ve been checking these accounts less often than ever about once a month but I rarely post pictures or comments It brings a deep sense of freedom and calmness In terms of smartphone use, I keep it on airplane mode for around 80% of the awake time, and I often try to go on adventures up in the mountains to be away from signal access for days or weeks at a time This desire to be unreachable has grown over time and, although it makes me feel grounded and present, I admit that can be quite selfish of me towards loved ones.Reading this book helped me better understand the forces behind addictive technologies, exposed me to pragmatic ideas to implement the minimalism philosophy, and supported my previous thoughts on how we can better handle digital overexposure.SUMMARY Intro Digital minimalism, according to Cal Newport, is a philosophy where we focus our online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that support the things we value We learn how the author got interested in the topic after receiving feedbacks from his previous book Chapter 1 Cal starts with a refresher bringing back to the early and potentially innocent days of Facebook and the iPhone then, he soon shows how these new technologies took the lead by dictating how we behave and how we feel by pushing us to overuse their products for as long as possible Interesting story about how NYU professor Adam Alter shifted his research topic after getting trapped for 6 uninterrupted hours playing a game on his phone during a cross country flight Cal then explains 2 of the main forces used by technology companies to encourage behavior addiction 1 Intermittent positive reinforcement 2 The drive for social approval Chapter 2 Here is a primer on digital minimalism We learn that to reestablish control, we need to move beyond tweaks and instead rebuild our relationship with technology from scratch, using our deeply held values as a foundation Cal explains why digital minimalism works through 3 principles 1 The first principle argues that, when we clutter our time and attention with many apps, social networks, and services, we create an overall negative cost compared to the benefits of each individual item in isolation I was absolutely delighted to read his arguments by sharing Henry Thoreau s decision to live for two years in a cabin near the Walden Pond Thoreau s book, Walden, has actually impacted my life tremendously when I first read as a freshmen in college 2 The second principle says that besides choosing a technology that supports our values, we should also think how we should use them to extract full benefits optimizing, therefore, the returns Here Cal shows how the law of diminishing returns can be directly correlated with potential negative effects when technology usage surpass the benefits they can generate 3 The last principle shows that being intentional about how we engage with new technologies is one way to become sincerely satisfied For that, the author illustrates the Amish s approach toward technology they start with the things they value most, then work backward to ask whether a given new technology performs harm than good with respect to their values Chapter 3 In this chapter Cal shares a system for digital decluttering by transforming our relationship with technology He encourages us to apply a rapid transformation something that occurs in a short period of time and is executed with enough conviction that the results are likely to stick He divides the process in 3 steps 1 The first one is to establish which ones of the new optional technologies we can step away from without creating major problems in either our professional or personal life 2 The second step is to take the leap and give ourselves a 30 day break while we rediscover the activities that generate real satisfaction without being attached to our devices 3 The final step is the reintroduction, building it from the scratch, following the principles previously explained in chapter 2 by choosing carefully the apps tools and using them with a deeper sense of purpose Chapter 4 This is most probably my favorite chapter, where we learn the value of solitude Cal starts by sharing an interesting story of President Lincoln s decision to reside in a cottage during months at time, communicating back and forth to the White House on horseback The author then shares the benefits of solitude such as being a prerequisite for original and creative thoughts, as well as a deeper appreciation for interpersonal connections when they occur He then shifts gears toward the impacts of solitude depravation, showing, for example, that the rise in anxiety related problems among students coincide with the use of smartphones and social media At the end of the chapter we learn 3 practices to foster solitude moments in our daily lives 1 To leave our phones and devices at home 2 To go on long walks 3 To spend time journaling Chapter 5 Now we jump to a chapter rich in social psychology lessons We first learn how our brains evolved to desire social interactions, but differently than the rich face to face encounters, during the last decade or so we have been bombarded by digital communication tools, encouraging interactions through short, text based messages and approval clicks At the end Cal offers practices to develop meaningful conversation centric communication They range from avoiding clicking the like button all the way to holding meaningful conversations during office hours Chapter 6 Now we jump to an empowering chapter We learn to cultivate high quality leisure time at the same time we declutter the low quality digital distractions from our lives They both, in fact, work together in order to create a purposeful habit This chapter is filled with real life examples of successful stories where helpful lessons are drawn at the end of each example Like in the previous chapters, Cal doesn t share only examples, but also practical ways to adopt his claims My favorite suggestion is about scheduling in advance the time we ll be spending on low quality leisure Chapter 7 The final chapter is about building a resistant mindset to avoid the power of the attention economy which is business sector that makes money gathering consumers attention and then repacking and selling it to advertisers Practices are provided when further discipline is required to avoid exploitation 1 Delete social media from our phone to remove the ability to access them at any time If we re going to use social medial, we should access them through a web browser 2 Turn our devices into purposeful tools, diminishing the number of things they enable us to do In Cal s own words I m not talking about occasionally blocking some sites when working on a particularly hard project I want you instead to think about these services as being blocked by default, and made available to you on an intentional schedule 3 To use social media like a social media professional does 4 To embrace the slow media consumption by maximizing the quality of what we consume 5 Making the hard choice to switch from smartphone to a dumb phone.COMPLEMENTARY READINGSWell, it doesn t matter where in the spectrum we fall as long as we vow to move the needle towards a meaningful and intentional technology use, diminishing our natural tendency to become dependent on digital devices While reading Digital Minimalism I thought about book titles that could complement the content 1 Essentialism, by Greg McKeown, is definitely the one that comes to mind first It helped me focus on less but important tasks, giving clarity to what matters most 2 Originals, by Adam Grant, helped me see the world of creativity through a different angle by being true to who I m 3 Atomic Habits, by James Clear, has already influenced me to build better and meaningful habits during the last 3 months It can be an extremely helpful source to apply the lessons suggested in Chapter 6 4 Last, if you d like to learn a bit about electromagnetic fields and how we can minimize the dangers, look no further than The Non Tinfoil Guide to EMFs, by Nicolas Pineault.Take good care,Haical


    Having read Deep Work and So good they can t ignore you from Cal before, I can say that this book extends the ideas mentioned in the previous books from a digital wellbeing perspective chapters on not using social media app, reclaiming leisure time and preferring conversation over connection have a deep and well researched insights.

  8. maxwell maxwell says:

    Mit der Reduktion meiner Internetnutzung besch ftige ich mich schon seit l ngerem, st rt es mich doch, wie viel Zeit ich damit vergeude Immer mehr Stimmen werden laut, die sich gegen die blinde Nutzung der neuen Medien stemmen Nun stimmt auch Cal Newport in diesen Chor ein, und er macht das ohne Kompromisse.Smartphones sind Gl cksspielautomaten so bezeichnet zumindest Tristan Harris, ein fr herer Google Ingenieur, die Technologie, die unser Leben bestimmen Jedes Mal, wenn man auf sein Handy schaut, bet tigt man den metaphorischen Hebel und schaut Was habe ich bekommen In diese Kerbe schl gt das erste Kapitel, dass die negativen Seiten von Smartphones und digitalen Technolgien zeigt Technologien, die sich im Laufe der Zeit dazu entwickelt haben, einen Gro teil unserer Zeit zu Profit zu machen.Nachdem Newport ein argumentatives Fundament geschaffen hat, kommt es zur Darlegung seiner Philosophie Digital Minimalism Er bezeichnet es kurz als eine Philosophie f r die Nutzung von Technik, bei welcher man seine Online Zeit auf eine kleine Anzahl an sorgsam ausgew hlten und optimierten Aktivit ten fokussiert, die Dinge unterst tzen, die man wertsch tzt, und gl cklich alles andere vers umt frei bersetzt Digitale Minimalisten sorgen sich also laut Newport nicht dar ber, dass sie kleine Dinge vers umen, sondern dass ihr Technik Konsum im Weg der gro en Dinge steht Beziehungen, Erfolge im echten Leben.Wie man diese Philosophie realisiert Newport hat eine L sung daf r Digitale Entr mpelung Hier legt man seinen Konsum von optionalen Technologien f r 30 Tage auf Eis falls also E Mails f r die Arbeit ein Muss sind, ist dies nicht als optional zu sehen Netflix, Youtube oder Videospiele allerdings schon eher Wenn man so viel an Unterhaltung aus seinem Leben f r kurze Zeit verbannt, merkt man erst, wie abh ngig man davon ist Nach den 30 Tagen f hrt man allm hlich wieder die optionalen Technolgien ein aber nur dann, wenn sie dabei helfen, Dinge, die einem wichtig sind, zu unterst tzen Und auch hier nimmt man nur Technik, die der beste Weg daf r ist, keine halbgaren L sungen.Die gr te berraschung des Buches war f r mich das Kapitel ber Einsamkeit Newport denkt, dass durch Smartphones richtige Einsamkeit er definiert es als einen subjektiven Zustand, in welchem das Bewusstsein frei vom Input anderer ist mehr oder weniger verschwunden ist Auf dem Klo hat man sein Handy dabei und selbst auf dem Weg zum Supermarkt ist man nicht komplett alleine, kann man doch auf dem Weg dorthin Musik h ren Man ist also nie wirklich mit seinen Gedanken allein Newport geht sogar soweit und sagt, dass wir eine regelrechte Einsamkeits Mangel haben Er argumentiert, dass wir ein gewisses Ma an richtiger Einsamkeit brauchen, um unser mentales Wohlbefinden zu erhalten Er st tzt sich dabei auf mehrere Beispiele, darunter Abraham Lincoln und Henry David Thoreau, die Phasen sozialer und einsamer Aktivit t abwechselten und so eine gute Balance schafften.In den weiteren Kapiteln wird erkl rt, wie man aus den verschiedenen Technologien konkreten Nutzen ziehen kann z.B Face to face vor Instant Messaging Nachrichten unterst tzend nutzen, um Termine auszumachen oder Telefonate zu arrangieren, aber nicht die komplette Beziehung via Text f hren und wie man gute Freizeitaktivit ten w hlt Diese sind fordernd und nicht hirnlos, enthalten echte, soziale Interaktionen und sind F higkeiten, mit denen man in der echten Welt wertvolle Dinge herstellen kann damit sind Dinge gemeint wie Schreinern, Reparieren von Dingen, lwechsel beim Auto, ohne gleich jemanden daf r zu engagieren, also alles, wo man seine H nde benutzt.Die Philosophie von Newport ist ein radikaler Schritt, aber meiner Meinung nach genau der richtige f r die heutige Welt Durch die digitale Entr mpelung und darauffolgende Evaluierung gelangt man, wenn richtig ausgef hrt, zu einem wahrlich achtsamen Konsum von Technik.

  9. Polina Ratnichkina Polina Ratnichkina says:

    Last year I read Deep Work The day I finished reading Deep Work, I deleted Instagram and never logged in again I read other 2 books of his in under two weeks I even included Cal and his books in my dissertation acknowledgements I truly believe without embracing deep work I wouldn t be able to finish my masters ahead of my peers Not to mention I was able to read 58 books last year mainly because I quit all those time consuming social media browsing.Since then Cal became my favourite thinkers on the topic of digital age I pre ordered Digital Minimalism before it was even released I thought I already knew what Cal had to say on the topic of social media but he still managed to deliver a ton of useful information.If Instagram went missing from my life last year, this year it s time to rethink other sources of media that consume my free time I am on the lookout for new analog hobbies and way to spend my free time All I can say it s been very rewarding so far It s incredible how time can stretch once you are not looking at the screen all the time

  10. Bárbara Fernanda Moraes da Siva Bárbara Fernanda Moraes da Siva says:

    J conhecia o Cal de outro livro muito bom Deep Work , mas esse mais pr tico e ao mesmo tempo mais profundo em suas reflex es sobre o papel das redes sociais na nossa vida As dicas s o embasadas cientificamente e v o mudar sua forma de entender o uso constante de smartphones Cal pergunta sempre qual o valor que essas ferramentas est o trazendo para sua vida no longo prazo al m de propor desafios e pr ticas no dia a dia para n o desviar sua aten o da realidade para o celular Ele tamb m vai al m ao propor v rias formas do que ele chama de lazer de alta qualidade, onde voc deixa de ser consumidor passivo de informa o muitas vezes in til para ativo, consumindo e produzindo de forma a exercitar positivamente seu c rebro Valeu muito a leitura

  11. Douglas C. Green Douglas C. Green says:

    I underline and make notes in my how to books along with sticky bookmarks This book has the new distinction of having the most underlines, notes, stars and bookmarks of any book in the last year Well worth buying reading and following the practical steps I was already working in this direction and had discovered some of the steps myself but seeing them in print along with the steps I hadn t considered made the cost of the book irrelevant The author is clear about how difficult this can be but also is clear about the steps and the order a reader should attempt them It s not about giving up every bit of tech it s about having a clear reason why you decide to use tech and what limits you put on it.

  12. NateKowalski NateKowalski says:

    So I previously wrote a review on this one but since I didn t finish it I thought I should try to at least get through the whole thing before writing a review Down went the previous review and I started reading again Nope I could not finish this one even after a second attempt.The entire book is vague examples without any specifics Loosely based case studies based on viewers of the authors blog posts and endless irony The case studies aren t even specific they are just bland stories along the lines of Jim stopped checking facebook and his productivity went through the roof Sally feels better since deleting Snapchat It s unbearably vague.I appreciate the message of the book But the author has a larger online base than anyone taking his advice to minimize their time online Most of his examples of minimalists are people who spend wayyy too much time curating their web pages or managing online forums etc It s ridiculous.I get ithe doesn t have social media but why should I take advice the vague individuals he ENDLESSLY refers to I have no urge to be like these people in his examples Why are they so special Some of them make furniture apparentlyshould I aspire to make furniture It s so silly.The book ended up in the garbage Don t tell me social media is bad if you have a website that has it s own feed and comment section, ads, pre order specials and marketing links to your peers websites and their books.Not for me I ll stick to Robert Greene books and older classics.The author has a larger online following than most readers ever will He has a personal website arranged like social media with a feed , comments, and ads.

  13. slim one slim one says:

    Decent book on a subject that seems to be afflicting all too many of us Our consumption with our electronic devices and absence of insight to how we re compromising our abilities to be effective human beings has real costs Just developing some minor awareness and considering a few of the author s suggestions can make a real difference to getting control of your time Read this book like a Whole 30 program for your digital life It s not a diet It s not a perfect prescription Try to do a bit of a reset, then introduce things that are useful to you back into your life, then measure your happiness contribution etc Not necessarily saying no to anything everything, just seeking greater intention as to how you use technology v being used by it We all need of this message with hopes we ll act in some way.