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Digital Minimalism

Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

Computer scientist Cal Newport is going to release a new book titled “Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World” next week. Obviously I haven’t read it by now – since, you know, it has not been published yet, but I like a lot of the ideas Newport voiced elsewhere before, so I feel confident enough to recommend it in advance.

If you want to know more about the book – and its authors mindset in general, read this GQ article and listen to this episode of Hurry Slowly with Cal Newport — by the way a podcast I generally enjoy very much.

You’re gonna look at allowing a 13-year-old to have a smartphone the same way that you would look at allowing your 13-year-old to smoke a cigarette.

Cal Newport on gq.com / January 23, 2019

Newport not only takes interesting positions about the usage of modern technology in a broader sense, but about social media in particular.

Even though he belongs to the millennial generation and has a computer related profession, and therefore should be a heavy social media user, he has never had a social media account. Furthermore he is convinced many more people should follow his lead and quit these services. Newport particularly takes an issue with the widely accepted notion that social media accounts nowadays are fundamental for a successful career.

There are many issues with social media, from its corrosion of civic life to its cultural shallowness, but the argument I want to make here is more pragmatic: You should quit social media because it can hurt your career.

Cal Newport on nytimes.com / November 19, 2016

The quoted essay was written by Newport for the New York Times years ago, but it is still a good supplement to my previous post and the articles linked there. Newport even turned it into a short TED Talk later, in case you prefer to listen instead of reading his essay – even though it’s of manageable length.

⦁  Buy “Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World” by Cal Newport, published by Portfolio (Penguin Random House).

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