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Working the Future blog: our latest insights and future of work sensemaking

Digital Minimalism: On Living Better with Less Technology – Cal Newport, 2019

2022-03-08 16:15

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Reading Room, Digital Minimalism: On Living Better with Less Technology,

Digital Minimalism: On Living Better with Less Technology – Cal Newport, 2019

Cal Newport doesn’t do Facebook. You won’t find him on Twitter either. He’s, by his own admission, always been reticent about social media.

Cal Newport doesn’t do Facebook. You won’t find him on Twitter either. He’s, by his own admission, always been reticent about social media. 

 

Digital Minimalism is a recommended 'how to' guide for surviving the growing tsunami of digital technology. It highlights the damage that our ‘always-on’, hyper-connected culture is causing us.  It outlines the extent to which social media platforms have been designed to high-jack as much of our attention as possible. Attention, and in parallel, user data are the new oil. 

 

By no means does Newport suggest that we spurn the Internet entirely.  Instead, digital minimalism is the suggestion that we can consciously curate our time spent on-line, in a way that works optimally for us.  He draws on both history and psychological research, to show us that our ‘always-on’, hyper-connected culture is detrimental to wellbeing, arguing that we need ‘alone-time’ for sense-making and complex problem-solving.  He also supports Sherry Turkle’s research, that we spurn in-person relationship building to our detriment.  We are social creatures, and thinking that we can somehow replace our human relationships with virtual ones is fuelling the epidemic of anxiety and mental ill-health.

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