Bit Better Book Club 🎉

Weeks 23 and 24: Digital Minimalism 📱

Welcome to weeks 23 and 24!

Time to read:

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

The previous book by Cal Newport, “Deep Work” didn’t get many positive reviews in this Book Club. Our expectations didn’t quite match the delivery. Also, there were several complaints about literary style.

Many people see Digital Minimalism as a more practical book. Let’s see if we can learn anything new on the topic after reading “Deep Work” and “Indistractable!”

Just 22 pages (or 30 minutes for an audiobook) a day to finish it in 2 weeks. :raised_hands:

I read the book and very much liked it, but I did enjoy Deep Work and its very straightforward style as well. I read it just before the corona broke loose, so implementing some of the ideas has been tricky, since so much of our communication now has been digital, that living a more analog life can be damaging by further alienation oneself from their closest friends and family.

What were some of the solutions that you’ve implemented in your life?

I’ll be upfront that I read that book before, so I used this change to reread it and see how I feel about it one more time.

I’ve read it closely after Deep Work and I think that if you though DW was good - an idea worth pursuing, then Digital Minimalism felt like a book that repeats a lot of similar concepts.

I think the issue I had was that Cal spents a lot of time in the book convincing you that his idea makes sense. But for me, coming from Deep Work, I was already convinced! :smiley: So a lot of it felt unnecessary. To be upfront, if I read it first, I might digest it differently A lot of the ideas from the book I implemented after Deep Work already.

I liked the main point of the book, that is digital apps (social etc) are not bad, but you need to understand that they are engineerd to attract your attention as much as possible and you need to figure out what you need from them in order to not be overwhelmend.

My interesting takeaways:

  • randomized reward gives you a bigger dopamine kick than predictable reward ( that’s for my social app ofc :wink: )
  • if you need Facebook groups, open the group pages directly, skipping the main feed
  • social media can make us happy but they take away your time from offline interactions that are more valuable
  • digital declutter (chapter 3) - the break is important for you to realize do you really need the app. Taking small steps will obfuscate your needs. Also the chapter has a lot of nice examples how people dealt with it
  • “Doing nothing is overrated” - hah, I loved that one. Sitting and doing nothin drags you towards low-reward activities
  • last but not least - learn welding :wink:

Welp. Much longer message than I expected.

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(Sorry for typos, couldn’t find a way to edit the message)