What is Digital Minimalism and How Can It Help You?
What is Digital Minimalism?
Digital Minimalism is the act of reducing or erasing much of your time behind a screen, and using your digital devices in a way that aligns with your values and goals. The book Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport describes this practice and the steps to implement it in detail.
The first part of digital minimalism is finding out what technology could be considered optional. These are technologies that when gotten rid of, would have a significant impact on your professional or personal life.
You can engage in new life interests or hobbies that will help you replace the time usually spent on these optional technologies with. For at least 4 weeks, you should use these hobbies to restrain yourself from going digital. Then, you can gradually re-introduce them while being conscious of how and why you are using them in the first place.
Why Should You Consider Digital Minimalism?
Most social media networks are designed to keep you on their platforms as long as possible. They do this by providing your brain with rewarding feelings. Everytime you get a new comment, like or share, or you see a new photo of something funny, attractive or interesting, your brain gets a hit of dopamine.
Dopamine is one of the chemicals that are thought of as feel-good chemicals. However, it is a short-lived feeling. Which automatically means that in order to reach that level of feeling again, you have to keep using social media or keep going digital. You become so addicted. Infact for some people, they can’t do without using social media and tech gadgets in 24hrs. Even when they have nothing important to do online or go digital, they still find themselves on it. This is why it’s important to put an end to the addiction, in order to improve your productivity and gain mental power and feel better in general.
Engaging in digital minimalism is a sure way to stop that cycle of addiction. You will gain more time to be productive, and it allow you to be more conscious on how best to use your time effectively. In the long run, you’ll also see improvements in your emotional well-being. You may find that you are happier overall and more fulfilled, and more in tune with yourself.
Use Smartphone or Desktop Apps
There are a tons of applications online you can install on your phone or computer to help you set time limits on certain websites or apps. A good example of this is Cold Turkey, which you can download for Windows or Mac. This app will allow you to block websites during certain times to help you get more work done and deter procrastination
Becoming a Digital Minimalist
Although removing yourself from your digital and social media presence might seem daunting, the more you can do so, the more benefits you’ll discover in your life. It might be unrealistic to cut out all unwanted technology use right away, but using certain methods and tools it’s very possible.
This sort of change to digital minimalism doesn’t mean doing away with technology forever, but simply being able to recognize when its use is causing you more harm than good.