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The GenWhy Leaders Podcast


Mar 20, 2020

Digital Minimalism: A Minimal Solution
Newport defines Digital Minimalism as, “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.” Digital Minimalism is an evaluation and strategy of how to reduce the constant noise of technology, especially social media.

Background on Cal:
Cal is a computer scientist professor at Georgetown University. Digital Minimalism was published in 2019, but Cal has published several books, with a few of his best sellers being “Deep Work” and “So Good They Can’t Ignore You.” If you do a quick social media search for Cal’s accounts – you won’t find him. He has never had a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account, but you can learn more about him at calnewport.com.

Main points:

  • Social media is the newest, biggest addiction (like smoking).
    • Checking “likes”, following people and seeing pictures of happy people that distort real life.
    • Social media tech executives share how they won’t let their kids use social media because of the design to create behavioral addictions.
  • Solitude Deprivation – where you spend zero time with your own thoughts
    • Going on walks
    • Writing letters
  • Bringing digital declutter in to your life:
    • Take a 30-day digital break
    • Before introducing technology again make rules and guidelines for using social media and technology
    • Make sure to plug in meaningful, high-level activity in place of passive technology
      • Exercise
      • Cooking
  • Be intentional with this process
    • Input conversation and real-world interactions
    • Join a community group of hobby/interest
    • Read a book
    • Explore a new hobby, like woodworking

“Ah-Ha moments”:

  • Social Media and the comparison game (comparing your life to others in unrealistic pictures)
  • Do things for the sake of enjoyment and skill building
    • You don’t always have to produce an outcome or be efficient
    • Master a new skill over an extended period of time

Set a rule or guideline with technology, such as:

  • No phone or social media after 8pm
  • Deactivate social media accounts for a period of time
  • No “likes” – instead text, call, or even write the person a letter

If you are not interested in the book or you just want one takeaway from this, either try the 30-day digital declutter or even a 5-day one. It will in the least make you very aware of how much you are attached to your phone and social media. It might even scare you.

How to contact Matt:
Email: honeycuttm89@yahoo.com

Interested in reading the full book? Click here to buy Digital Minimalism, or visit www.calnewport.com

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