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Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  21,449 ratings  ·  2,638 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by Portfolio
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Kate Having read both, I would say Deep Work is a much stronger book overall - if you had to pick just one to read, pick Deep Work over Digital Minimalism.…moreHaving read both, I would say Deep Work is a much stronger book overall - if you had to pick just one to read, pick Deep Work over Digital Minimalism. Deep Work is a core philosophy; Digital Minimalism is a supplemental tool that might help you implement that philosophy. But they are technically stand-alone books.(less)
David After having read all three of his book, it feels like the author is just re-hashing the same ideas every few years with a slight different emphasise.…moreAfter having read all three of his book, it feels like the author is just re-hashing the same ideas every few years with a slight different emphasise.

It's not to say they are bad; just repetitive. Whichever one you read first, you will probably find it rather insightful, while the next two becomes increasingly dull and full of fluff.

My recommendation is to read the synopsis on the back of all three and just pick one to read. There really is no need to read all three. (less)

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Although at times it made me annoyed for how into only citing dudes or dude-centric work it is (hi, the Craft movement has been in the women's spheres for forever, but it didn't become "cool" to do crafts -- whatever craft you prefer -- until dudes "reclaimed" it over the last few decades), this is a really smart, thoughtful, and practical book about how to make sure that social media works for you, rather than you becoming a tool of the social media. I've been doing some of these things in my ...more
Carl Rannaberg
Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I badly wanted to like this book. I really did. Because I have very much enjoyed other books by Cal Newport: So Good That They Can’t Ignore You and Deep Work. Both have inspired me a lot and I have recommended these to others in many occasions.

This book was way below my expectations. I'm afraid it’s not the book, it’s me. The practical value for me was minimal as I have already implemented a lot of things he proposes in the book.

As Cal Newport mentions that he sees the digital minimalism trend
Robert Chang
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cal Newport provided practical advice on how to embrace the philosophy of Digital Minimalism:

- Spend time alone to gain solitude
- Leave your phone at home
- Take long walks
- Write letters to yourself (journaling)

- Don't click "likes"
- Avoid falling into the slot machine feedback loop of likes
- Consolidate texting
- hold conversation office hours
- Reclaiming conversations

- Reclaim Leisure
- prioritize demanding leisure activity over pass consumption
- use skills to produce valuable things in
Cindy Pham
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I appreciate the thesis that by choosing to minimize technology in our day-to-day lives, we're choosing to be more deliberate with how we spend our time. I liked some of the advice to consolidate texting, hold conversation office hours, and in general, choose to be more purposeful with what energy we give to reacting to others. I think this book would have been stronger if he provided research to this points rather than random anecdotes about people who decide to step away from ...more
Science (Fiction) Nerd Mario
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I know the irony of writing such a review on a social media platform, but as always there is potential for both good and for bad, for modest consumption or addiction.
One should always keep in mind that humans are social animals, prone to getting addicted to interacting with each other. Online. 24/7. Until real life (which one was that still...) collapses

Probably the one or the other reader might tend to eat too much sugar, fat, has quit smoking or even worse things like online gaming. In each
Meredith B.  (readingwithmere)
5 Stars!

Where we want to be cautious . . . is when the sound of a voice or a cup of coffee with a friend is replaced with ‘likes’ on a post.

Read. This. Book. Have you ever told someone in your life you just didn't have enough time in the day to get everything done? Have you thought about why that is? Maybe look down and see what you've been doing for the last 5, 10 or even 60 minutes. Probably scrolling through your phone. Sometimes with intention but sadly a lot of the time we are on our
K.J. Dell'Antonia
I've been thinking a lot these days about making more deliberate tech choices. No one human--not even Steve Jobs--ever expected technology to invade our lives the way it has. Instead, keeping us tethered to our tech and pulling that lever became the most popular and obvious way to monetize the Internet, and we individuals became, not the consumers, but the product being sold. And instead of cutting ourselves some slack--billions of dollars have been spent in the name of making the screens around ...more
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the idea in here--less is more. We do not need all the apps and the social platforms. He's definitely talking to someone like me here. I am not a huge consumer of these platforms (mostly this is age-related). However, I listened to his book using audible and some apps have really helped me expand my mind (meditation apps and audible are two). There is no room in Newport's framework for using smartphones in a good way. He's sort of an intellectual luddite. I get this and sometimes I think ...more
Julie Christine
Every rare once in awhile a Facebook friend announces their imminent departure from Facebook. Or simply quietly slips away, leaving behind a shadow profile in my friends list. I send up a silent cheer when I realize they have deactivated their account, knowing in my belly they are better off without this ubiquitous social media overlord.

For a long time, I've felt a sense of disquiet about social media, but the disturbance has become a growing alarm and a deep sadness in recent months. I feel
Laura Noggle
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Deleted Facebook and Facebook messenger off my phone thanks to this book!

Hard not to feel guilty over phone use after reading, probably because I know I waste too much time on it.

Would read this one again to help ingrain the importance of living the minimally digital life.

“The tycoons of social media have to stop pretending that they’re friendly nerd gods building a better world and admit they’re just tobacco farmers in T-shirts selling an addictive product to children. Because, let’s face it,
mindful.librarian ☀️
If you are ready to make radical changes in your approach to tech in your life, this book is for you. It has been life altering in the best possible ways for me. I’m noticing that the people who aren’t ready to make changes tend to get defensive and call Newport a Luddite

However, if you almost never use your phone except for making phone calls or don’t use social media, you can probably skip it. Or if you’ve already read other books on the topic, maybe this covers the same ground? I haven’t
Feb 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism is Marie Kondo’s tidying philosophy applied to technology: technology isn’t inherently bad or good, but it should be judiciously curated to fit your pre-existing values of what constitutes a good life. Rather than going to Facebook or Instagram or a news feed of breaking news to find human connection and entertainment, pre-decide what you value in the spheres of entertainment and connection and then tailor the tools of social media to achieve those pre-defined ...more
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I continue to wonder if Newport ever bears primary caregiving duties for anyone.
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
A little over a year ago, I posted an entry to my blog softly decrying the place that social media and screen time was playing in my life. A few months later, as I was preparing for a trip to Europe, I vowed to go without social media for two weeks while I was away (outside of texting my kids). I was . . . mostly successful. I was on very little, far less than "normal". And my strategy of taking a notebook with me and writing every night proved successful. But I didn't drop everything all the ...more
Matthew Quann
If you're anything like me, you've come to feel more than a little enslaved to your cell phone and you're failing to see what you get out of the whole exchange. I've found myself sitting down with a cup of coffee for a quick scroll of content, looking up to find 30 minutes or more have passed. The thing is, these social media scrolls rarely leave me feeling the way, say, a great book does: rewarded, challenged, or that I have just spent my time doing something useful. All the same, I found it ...more
Tyler J [They/He] Gray

I have somewhat complicated feelings on this book. I feel like I need to say these are all just my opinions. Anyway..Through-out there were so many times I was internally screaming "DISABLED PEOPLE EXIST!" and wanting to DNF it. I almost wish I had. There is so much privilege that goes unseen that I wanted to scream. That's not to say I didn't get anything good out of this book, because I did, but it was a chore to wade through the privilege, so much of it I don't have myself, and the
Luke Bacich
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deep work (Cal's previous book) is my favourite book; it overhauled how I stay focused during the work day in an age of distraction. Digital Minimalism is the perfect sequel. Digital Minimalism removes low impact distractions from your personal life in search of meaningful high quality analogue activities. Between the two books your work and personal life are covered. You come away a far more present and content with your life.
Madeleine (Top Shelf Text)
Such an important work of non-fiction for anyone who would like to evaluate their relationship with social media. I loved this book -- it spurred me to take a 30-day break from Instagram, and I look forward to re-reading it in the future to keep me thinking about the role of social media and general technology in my life!
Tanja Berg
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I picked this book up on a whim at Helsinki airport a week ago. For a few months, I've been trying unsuccessfully to reduce the amount of time I spend browsing social media on my phone. The screen time report has been dismal reading. I also realize that when I am tired after a long day at the office, my capacity to resist is next to nil.

I am now going to make a serious attempt at decluttering my digital life. Tonight I will delete all social media on my phone and take a 30 day break. I feel
Emma Sea
"'Likes' are poison to your attempts to cultivate a meaningful social life. . . . don't click 'like. Ever . . . Don't click and don't comment. This basic stricture will radically change for the better how you maintain your social life."

I want all the benefits Newport outlays, but I'm scared of doing a digital detox. I have a YouTube addiction and I am afraid going cold turkey will highlight to me how empty and unfulfilling my leisure time currently is. And how much I am not spending my hours on
Huyen Chip
Jul 15, 2019 added it
Shelves: gave-up
The entire thesis of the book is: uninstall all your apps and only reinstall those that actually serve a purpose. The rest of the books is just examples.
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loves, 2019
Reviewed on: Ashes Books & Bobs.

The moment I saw the cover for this book, I knew I had to pick it up. I often find myself overwhelmed by technology. While others seem at ease holding a conversation, scheduling an Uber, and texting 3 different friends, my mind struggles to keep up with one task at a time. I feel strained and exhausted by information overload. I want to be on social media less and in the real world more. Yet, when ten different people are needing ten different things in one
Rian Merwe
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this book over the weekend, and it exceeded my expectations. I was a little worried it would just be a re-hashing of his previous book Deep Work, through a slightly different lens, but it’s not that at all. Cal brings in lots of psychology, and provides practical (and pragmatic) recommendations for cultivating a better relationship with technology.

He also draws heavily from the experience of about 1,600 people who undertook a 30-day “technology declutter” during the research phase for the
Justin Weiss
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this a lot better than I expected to. A few years ago I made a real effort to more intentionally use social media and online news, moving toward more of an "I find it" vs "it finds me," and really heavily restricting what comes into my brain. It was _amazing_, really changed my mood and my attitude. So I was expecting this to be a rehash of what I had already bought into, along with the typical 200 pages of padding.

There was some really great stuff in here, though! I loved the sections
Viv JM
There seems a certain irony in the fact that I read this on an electronic device and am reviewing it on a social media site...ho hum.

Newport casts an enquiring and sceptical eye over our use of social media and addiction to smart phones. The history of social media and how it is engineering to be so compelling was an eye opener. He gives very useful ideas about how we can rebel against the "attention economy". The author stresses the importance of spending time being bored and being alone with
Nicholas Kotar
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
All I'm going to say is:


I have joined the attention resistance movement. I am now a digital minimalist. And let me tell you, my quality of life has improved exponentially. Do it, people!
Anne ✨
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-tech
I found this book insightful - it's important conversation that we need to have with ourselves to take more conscious control over the degree to which we allow our digital devices to suck up our time. Newport provides some helpful concrete changes that make a lot of sense!
Goce Cvetanov
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since I already kind of have a few principles on using social media and digital devices, this book helped me confirm my principles and maybe even nudged me to think about these topics a bit more.

I would recommend this book to anyone, especially to those "addicted" to social media. What I liked the most is that every information presented in the book was linked with a scientific article, or another book, or some study, meaning that they are true and not just some stories about some people who
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this. It's the first time in a while that I've read a non-fiction text that deals with minimising digital life but actually finds new and fresh ways to suggest how to make changes. The inclusion of everyday people and their experiences with Newport's steps really helped bring a more practical, realistic nature to the book. I also liked the fact that this didn't completely demonise social media in the same way other books can do. I kind of wish I'd read this in physical ...more
Camelia Rose
Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noise World is a self-help book for those who wish to change because their real life has been negatively impacted by their digital life. Among many devices, apps and entertainment tools, the author sets his eyes mostly on mobile phones and social medias when arguing about the principles of digital minimalism and their implementation.

I like the psychology part. As a computer engineer, I know very well that mobile apps and social medias are not
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Cal Newport is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, and the author most recently of Deep Work, a book which argues that focus is the new I.Q. in the modern workplace, and So Good They Can’t Ignore You, a book which debunks the long-held belief that “follow your passion” is good advice. He has also written three popular books of unconventional advice for students. ...more
“The tycoons of social media have to stop pretending that they’re friendly nerd gods building a better world and admit they’re just tobacco farmers in T-shirts selling an addictive product to children. Because, let’s face it, checking your “likes” is the new smoking.” 31 likes
“Digital Minimalism 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.” 20 likes
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