Digital minimalism : choosing a focused life in a noisy world / Cal Newport.

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    • Abstract:
      Summary: 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 all around us. They're the calm, happy people who can hold long conversations without furtive glances at their phones. They can get lost in a good book, a woodworking project, or a leisurely morning run. They can have fun with friends and family without the obsessive urge to document the experience. They stay informed about the news of the day, but don't feel overwhelmed by it. They don't experience "fear of missing out" because they already know which activities provide them meaning and satisfaction. Now, Newport gives us a name for this quiet movement, and makes a persuasive case for its urgency in our tech-saturated world. Common sense tips, like turning off notifications, or occasional rituals like observing a digital sabbath, don't go far enough in helping us take back control of our technological lives, and attempts to unplug completely are complicated by the demands of family, friends and work. What we need instead is a thoughtful method to decide what tools to use, for what purposes, and under what conditions. Drawing on a diverse array of real-life examples, from Amish farmers to harried parents to Silicon Valley programmers, Newport identifies the common practices of digital minimalists and the ideas that underpin them. He shows how digital minimalists are rethinking their relationship to social media, rediscovering the pleasures of the offline world, and reconnecting with their inner selves through regular periods of solitude. He then shares strategies for integrating these practices into your life, starting with a thirty-day "digital declutter" process that has already helped thousands feel less overwhelmed and more in control. Technology is intrinsically neither good nor bad. The key is using it to support your goals and values, rather than letting it use you. This book shows the way.
    • Content Notes:
      FOUNDATIONS: A lopsided arms race -- Digital minimalism -- The digital declutter -- PRACTICES: Spend time alone -- Don't click "like" -- Reclaim leisure -- Join the attention resistance.
    • Notes:
      Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Booklist Reviews 2019 January #1

Becoming cognizant of the amount of time we spend online is now more important than ever. Instead of providing worthwhile services, the number one priority for commercial websites is inducing users to keep scrolling and clicking. To rein in our often excessive device usage, Newport (Deep Work, 2017) promotes a radical redefinition of our relationship with technology by way of digital minimalism, encouraging us to focus on a "small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly support things you value, and then happily miss out on everything else." One obstacle to this is the way news and social media platforms are designed to hold our attention, making it nearly impossible to change our habits without a complete detox. Newport lays out the basics for this digital decluttering and offers practices to cultivate a more fulfilling life, online and off. A helpful guide in this era of attention economics, Newport's philosophical treatise shows both what we lose with digital overuse and how technology, used with intention, can enhance the experience of being human. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.