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Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  16,479 ratings  ·  2,047 reviews
"Newport is making a bid to be the Marie Kondo of technology: someone with an actual plan for helping you realize the digital pursuits that do, and don't, bring value to your life." (Ezra Klein, Vox)

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
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Published February 5th 2019 by Penguin Audio
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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)
Dani I personally think that Digital Minimalism is the weaker of the three, so I would count that out (or at least read it last) if I were you. As for the…moreI personally think that Digital Minimalism is the weaker of the three, so I would count that out (or at least read it last) if I were you. As for the other two, it depends on what you want to get out of them. For example, if you are looking for something to guide you when it comes to deciding which direction you are going to take your career in, and furthermore, how to get there, I would recommend So Good. However, if you are looking to improve upon your work/study habits, I would definitely opt for Deep Work.

But at the end of the day, both of them are thoroughly enjoyable and fantastic for work ethic. So, really, you can't go wrong.(less)
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Kelly
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
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
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Robert Chang
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Cindy Pham
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) Comedy Horror and Fantasy Geek/Nerd a.k.a Mario
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
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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
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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
Mehrsa
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
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Laura Noggle
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,
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Kate ☀️ Olson
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
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verysadturtle
The author of this book is a prime example of how one can be very successful, and at the same time incredibly unimaginative.

When the title caught my attention at a bookstore, I had been feeling for a long time that my own consumption of digital content has gotten out of hand. “This looks like something you should read,” said one of the better angels of my nature (brace for many Abraham Lincoln stories if you decide to read the book). With unintended irony, I impulsively Google searched the book
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Kate
Feb 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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!
Heather
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I continue to wonder if Newport ever bears primary caregiving duties for anyone.
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.
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
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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
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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
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Ashley
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, loves
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
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Rian Merwe
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Justin Weiss
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Nicholas Kotar
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All I'm going to say is:

READ THIS BOOK!

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!
Huyen Chip
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.
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
...more
Amine
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For starters, I recommend this book to anyone struggling with this fast noisy age of information and social media we live in today, that is, I recommend this book to almost anyone, but especially to people of my generation.
I have come to see this book as some kind of survival guide in the wilderness. Only, surviving means how to make the best of, and you may be inclined to miss that you are in a wilderness, and are being preyed on.
Digital minimalism is a philosophy followed by many in this time
...more
Vanessa
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Milan
There is nothing path-breaking in this book by Cal Newport. Most of the stuff he mentions I’m already aware of. The hard part is implementing it. The good part is – it is all collected together in a book. The basic idea is – less is more. But that is true for most things in life. A few points from the book:

• Delete social media apps from the phone (only have one installed)
• Install apps that limit mobile apps usage (don't find it too useful)
• Downgrade to a dumb phone like in the old days (very
...more
Sudheendra Fadnis
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another master piece from Cal Newport. While the book Deep Work stresses on how to thrive professionally, this one is all about how to flourish in our personal lives through discretionary use of social media. We should be the masters of the technology we use, and not the other way around. We live in an age of dramatic distractions , which is driven by the attention merchants such as Facebook, Instagram , Twitter etc.Now a these days one's attention has become one of the most valuable resources ...more
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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.” 27 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.” 13 likes
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