Digital Minimalism: Is It Achievable?

“Our lives have become tech-centric. It’s starting to ‘own’ us.”

– Dan Silvestre

In a different post a couple of weeks ago, I discussed how the United States was the reason I got more hooked and addicted to social media and now I can’t go a day without it. From the second my alarm goes off I am on my phone. I have to turn my alarm off, which is on my phone. Then I pick it up to see if I have any texts from my friends or family that I missed while I was sleeping. I am on it all day, in between classes, sometimes while I am in class and when I am just relaxing. The only time I turn it off is when I am with other people or I am going to sleep. I know there are many people out there with the same schedule as myself.

This is the culture we live in right now and that is why I do not think that digital minimalism is possible.

Digital minimalism is the idea of knowing when technology is too much. Minimalism, in general, is the idea of knowing when enough is enough and now digital minimalism is adding technology to the idea.

In Cal Newport’s book Digital Minimalism, he discusses the new philosophy about technology use and how it is slowly taking over and we need to be able to control how much we use it and how much it uses us.

I believe that our society has become so wrapped up in social media that we don’t know how to go a day without it and when we do many people experience FOMO. The fear of missing out is a very large part of my generation. It causes unnecessary stress that can cause a deep sense of envy and it can definitely affect an individual’s self-esteem.  I can honestly say I don’t get that because I don’t allow myself to feel and think that social media is an important aspect of my life.

Social media allows us all to connect with one another. Whether that means nationally or internationally. Whether we are sitting right next to each other or we are a 15-hour drive from each other. All social media applications are 24/7, as stated in my last blog post social media has been able to keep us stuck in the moment.

Some very interesting research that I found is that since 2013 digital usage has gone up by 40%, one of every five minutes spent online is on social media and the average person spends almost three hours per day on their smartphones.

Cal Newport and Dan Silvestre talk about how digital minimalism is about the mindset. I agree, I think minimalism is a mental issue that people deal with internally.

“It’s about living with intention. You make room – space and time – for the things you love and eliminate everything that distracts us from them”

– Dan Silvestre

This goes hand in hand with distractions. Distractions are a large part of digital minimalism because if you are constantly looking for distractions and those distractions are social media or technology that is the opposite of digital minimalism. We all want to relax and not stress but when we do that we immediately turn to our laptops to go on YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and now Disney+. This is the opposite of digital minimalism because even when we don’t need to be on our laptops or on technology for us to relax that’s where we turn to.

Digital minimalism is something that no one realizes they need, so no one is trying to achieve it. Technology is a very large part of our society and it helps us in a multitude of ways, which makes no one want to give it up.

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