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Digital Minimalism: On Living Better with Less Technology

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  7,905 ratings  ·  1,080 reviews

Most of us know that addiction to digital tools is costing us both productivity and peace. But giving them up completely isn't realistic.

We're addicted to texting, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter not because we're stupid or shallow, but because they provide real value in the form of connection, community, affirmation, and information. Instagram is how you see new photos o

Paperback, 286 pages
Published February 7th 2019 by Portfolio Penguin (first published February 5th 2019)
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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)
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4.13  · 
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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 o ...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 g
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
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
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
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, c
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 ob ...more
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 horr
Ahmed Alsahaf
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
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!
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
Nicholas Kotar
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
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 fou
Mohammed  Bouarrata
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
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 i ...more
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cal Newport has an uncanny ability to synthesize wide-ranging sources and making a compelling, crisply written case. He does it again in this book. He’s no Luddite and he doesn’t encourage mindless tech adoption but instead argues for what he calls “digital minimalism.” The latter two thirds of the book on “practices” were my favorite parts of the book.
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
Olga Shatokha
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing, life-changing book. My life already became of a much higher quality with new hobbies.
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.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a good quick read. Nothing that was a big revelation, we all know how easily technologies gets a hold and a grip on us.

Cal Newport makes many good points but one quote that got me was about how we sometime feel more " important " then we ought to be. That we are so indispensable that we need to be reach at all time or that the world we stop turning we we don't have a constant access to others, particularly our own families . So here is the quote.

" young people, for example, worry that
Tiffany Freeman
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such an important topic to be talking about right now. I feel like a lot of my acquaintances would accuse the author of being a “tech hater,” but I feel like that couldn’t be farther from the truth if you really listen to what he’s claiming. I’m honestly already on board with a lot of the suggestions he shares, so maybe I was an easy sell. But I enjoyed it and my kids even enjoyed the parts I shared with them. Also, it didn’t feel preachy or “self help,” a quality I cannot abide.

Unexpectedly, i
Michael Schuermann
"Digital minimalists see new technologies as tools to be used to support things they deeply value – not as sources of value themselves."

"Digital minimalism definitively does not reject the innovations of the internet age, but instead rejects the way so many people currently engage with these tools."

Cal Newport's book is deeply reasonable, pragmatic, and thoughtful in presenting the flaws of our modern attention economy and the harm it can cause to our lives and our well-being.

Rather than a reac
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a fan of Newport. So:

1. Digital technology especially social media has enslaved us. Rather than being just a way to connect with our friends, facebook has mastered the art of the slot machine, giving us random and variable rewards. That has been found to be the most addictive of all; just look at slot machines, the Japanese Pachinko or channel surfing. I totally agree with this.

2. The only way out is Digital Minimalism. There are many ways to do it:
2.1. Deleting the mobile facebook app, u
Brad Feld
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I wrote a post / review on this at
Seth Thomas
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fresh air

I feel like I’ve been slowly moving this direction for a couple of years. This book feels like freedom and confirmation that I/we don’t need the steady social media IV drip to survive and thrive.
I talk about this book some in my wrap-up video here:
I was drawn to this book because if its title and because as a millennial I feel I am hyper connected and would like to live a more focused life. Also, having read, enjoyed and put into practice advice from Cal Newport's previous book So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love I figured this book would definitely help.

In Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Nosy World Cal intended to make the case for digital minimalism, including a mo
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/5 Minimalism is something intrinsic to me before I knew about the term, and so was digital minimalism. Sparing you the details, but "screentime" on iphone tells me that my total FB+Twitter+browsing usage on avg is less than 30 mins per day. And apart from goodreads and imdb on which serve an important function for me, I am not on any other SM (including Whatsapp or Insta).
Wished to take a step further and also compare notes. A lot of it - opting for quality communications and avoiding distra
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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. Hi ...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.” 15 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.” 7 likes
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