What is Digital Minimalism? It is what it says, living less with digital technology and taking part in activities that do not involve a huge amount of technology if at all.
I listened to a Podcast on the Dr Chatterjee, Feel better Live More channel with Cal Newport. Cal has written a book on digital minimalism and the podcast explores this. I was blown away. Already aware I was addicted to social media and my phone; this Podcast was the kick up the backside I needed to say no more! Immediately after the Podcast I deleted Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and also my email from my phone. I had tried before to minimise use, put the apps to the furthest away screen but it didn’t work. Deleting them was the only way.
Digital Minimalism – Impact
I am now on day 29 of digital minimalism. What has this been like? The words that come to my new free mind are: free, light, relaxed, more time, in control, energised, better sleep and comfortable, clear eyes. For about the last 9 months every day I experienced watery, stingy eyes. The optician gave me drops and they helped but I still suffered at least once a day. Since reducing screen time my eyes are the best they have been in months. For anyone suffering from itchy, nippy, watery eyes this is worth trying and no medication or cost is involved!
Further Advantages of Digital Minimalism
I sleep better, I am in deeper sleeps and I wake up refreshed. I am rising earlier than before and feel ready for the day. My brain feels more creative as it has more time and space. I like the idea that social media is not controlling me – I have choices and I decide, before it didn’t feel like that, I was a slave to scrolling mindless information. I also like that I am not inclined to “like” things all the time. Though if there was a like button for digital minimalism I would click it right this moment.
I can concentrate on things that really matter. That is more time interacting with my family and pet. I am focused on conversation as I am not distracted by a ping or a light notification appearing on my phone. I am taking a break from work when I should because email is now not as accessible. Meditation has creeped back in and with more ease.
Are there any disadvantages? I was asked this recently, I pondered. I did think about it: I am not being as social with lots of people, but I didn’t see it as disadvantage. Cal says in the podcast, social media interaction does not replace human face to face interaction, as far as making us feel good it cannot compete. The time I spend with family and friends face to face has more meaning. There are no disadvantages. I was worried about my business pages on social media. However, I have created time and space into developing my business in other ways.
Would I recommend?
Absolutely. I have been taking part in more analogue activities and this has enhanced my life and wellbeing. We have been playing board games at home and I have been reading more books. I am exercising more and listening to music. Podcasts are becoming my new way of learning new information.
I am still deciding, I would quite happily not go back. If I do then it has to be controlled. The way social media is designed I am not sure it will be that easy. A few people have suggested spending one day a week on social media for my business, this is doable. I won’t put Facebook back on my phone, there is no need. I can do most marketing from my laptop and Instagram might be the only one that is allowed back in on my phone.
For at least 2 days I will not be sharing this on the usual platforms, Linkedin only. Please do share as much as you can and convince me there is no need to go back! If you have done this or have any ideas on how to manage social media better, not having it or having it but controlling use, please let me know.