Title: Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Busy World
Author: Cal Newport
Hardcover: 978-0525536512, $26
Imprint: New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2019
“… In this timely and enlightening book, the bestselling author of Deep Work introduces a philosophy for technology use that has already improved countless lives.
Digital minimalists are all around us. They’re the calm, happy people who can hold long conversations without furtive glances at their phones. They can get lost in a good book, a woodworking project, or a leisurely morning run. They can have fun with friends and family without the obsessive urge to document the experience. They stay informed about the news of the day, but don’t feel overwhelmed by it. They don’t experience “fear of missing out” because they already know which activities provide them meaning and satisfaction.
Now, Newport gives us a name for this quiet movement, and makes a persuasive case for its urgency in our tech-saturated world. Common sense tips, like turning off notifications, or occasional rituals like observing a digital sabbath, don’t go far enough in helping us take back control of our technological lives, and attempts to unplug completely are complicated by the demands of family, friends and work. What we need instead is a thoughtful method to decide what tools to use, for what purposes, and under what conditions.
Drawing on a diverse array of real-life examples, from Amish farmers to harried parents to Silicon Valley programmers, Newport identifies the common practices of digital minimalists and the ideas that underpin them. He shows how digital minimalists are rethinking their relationship to social media, rediscovering the pleasures of the offline world, and reconnecting with their inner selves through regular periods of solitude. He then shares strategies for integrating these practices into your life, starting with a thirty-day “digital declutter” process that has already helped thousands feel less overwhelmed and more in control.
Technology is intrinsically neither good nor bad. The key is using it to support your goals and values, rather than letting it use you. This book shows the way…”
“Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism is the best book I’ve read in some time about our fraught relationship with technology… If you’re looking for a blueprint to guide you as you liberate yourself from the shackles of email, social networks, smartphones, and screens, let this book be your guide.” —Adam Alter, author of Irresistible
“I challenge you not to devour this wonderful book in one sitting. I certainly did, and I started applying Cal’s ideas to my own life immediately.” —Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism
“You’re not the user, you’re the product. Hang up, log off, and tune in to a different way to be in the world. Bravo, Cal. Smart advice for good people.” —Seth Godin, author of This is Marketing
“This book is an urgent call to action for anyone serious about being in command of their own life.” –Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle is the Way
“Cal Newport has discovered a cure for the techno-exhaustion that plagues our always-on, digitally caffeinated culture.” —Joshua Fields Millburn, The Minimalists
“I hope that everyone who owns a mobile phone and has been wondering where their time goes gets a chance to absorb the ideas in this book. It’s amazing how the same strategy can work for both financial success and mental well-being: Put more energy into what makes you happy, and ruthlessly strip away the things that don’t.” —Peter Adeney, aka Mr. Money Mustache
“Cal’s call for meaningful and engaged interactions is just what the world needs right now.” —Daniel Levitin, author of The Organized Mind
“What a timely and useful book! It’s neither hysterical nor complacent – a workable guide to being thoughtful about digital media. It’s already made me rethink some of my media use in a considered way. ” —Naomi Alderman, NYT bestselling author of The Power
“Digital Minimalism is a welcome invitation to reconsider how we want to use our screens rather than letting the screens (and the billionaires behind them) make the call.” –KJ Dell’Antonia, author of How to be a Happier Parent
Tom is originally from Brooklyn N.Y but has spent his entire professional career in South Carolina, most recently as Head of Reference Services at the College of Charleston. As part of the Against the Grain and Charleston Conference team, he serves as the associate editor of the print ATG as well as the co-editor of the webpage. Tom’s conference duties include coordinating the Penthouse Suite interviews as well as the conference poster sessions.
He received his MLS from the University of Buffalo, SUNY and a second master’s in public administration from the College of Charleston and the Univ. of South Carolina. His wife Carol and he live in downtown Charleston and she is an artist and a tour guide offering historic walking tours of the city.