@amit's notes

Digital Minimalism




What’s making us uncomfortable, in other words, is this feeling of losing control—a feeling that instantiates itself in a dozen different ways each day, such as when we tune out with our phone during our child’s bath time, or lose our ability to enjoy a nice moment without a frantic urge to document it for a virtual audience. (Location 433)

It’s not about usefulness, it’s about autonomy. (Location 435)

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.5 Because, let’s face it, checking your “likes” is the new smoking. (Location 447)

“Philip Morris just wanted your lungs,” Maher concludes. “The App Store wants your soul.” (Location 465)

Addiction is a condition in which a person engages in use of a substance or in a behavior for which the rewarding effects provide a compelling incentive to repeatedly pursue the behavior despite detrimental consequences. (Location 518)

Compulsive use, in this context, is not the result of a character flaw, but instead the realization of a massively profitable business plan. (Location 622)

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. (Location 658)

minimalists don’t mind missing out on small things; what worries them much more is diminishing the large things they already know for sure make a good life good. (Location 674)

Principle #1: Clutter is costly. (Location 740)

Principle #2: Optimization is important. (Location 743)

Principle #3: Intentionality is satisfying. (Location 747)

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” (Location 762)

“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” (Location 791)

more often than not, the cumulative cost of the noncrucial things we clutter our lives with can far outweigh the small benefits each individual piece of clutter promises. (Location 838)

approaching decisions with intention can be more important than the impact of the actual decisions themselves. (Location 960)

solitude is about what’s happening in your brain, not the environment around you. Accordingly, they define it to be a subjective state in which your mind is free from input from other minds. (Location 1382)

regular doses of solitude, mixed in with our default mode of sociality, are necessary to flourish as a human being. (Location 1447)

we need solitude to thrive as human beings, and in recent years, without even realizing it, we’ve been systematically reducing this crucial ingredient from our lives. Simply put, humans are not wired to be constantly wired. (Location 1570)

“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.” (Location 1969)

the relationship between our deeply human sociality and modern digital communication tools is fraught and can produce significant issues in your life if not handled carefully. (Location 2075)

Coffee shop hours are also popular. In this variation, you pick some time each week during which you settle into a table at your favorite coffee shop with the newspaper or a good book. The reading, however, is just the backup activity. (Location 2218)

Leisure Lesson #1: Prioritize demanding activity over passive consumption. (Location 2385)

Leisure Lesson #2: Use skills to produce valuable things in the physical world. (Location 2445)

Leisure Lesson #3: Seek activities that require real-world, structured social interactions. (Location 2543)

few things can replicate the benefits of connecting with your fellow citizens, so get up, get out, and start reaping these benefits in your own community. (Location 2729)

Extracting eyeball minutes, the key resource for companies like Google and Facebook, has become significantly more lucrative than extracting oil. (Location 2850)

It’s instead quite natural once you recognize that the power of a general-purpose computer is in the total number of things it enables the user to do, not the total number of things it enables the user to do simultaneously. (Location 2991)

I want you instead to think about these services as being blocked by default, and made available to you on an intentional schedule. (Location 2999)

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Digital Minimalism