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In this 1 minute meditation book review, discover how to navigate the noisy world and cultivate a focused life through digital minimalism.

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World – by Dr. Cal Newport

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There are a lot of books that advise “Unplug once in a while, and go outside”. But it doesn’t really take a book to convey that, does it? And it just leaves all the digital catching-up once we get back. Surely there must be a better way?

Rather than relying on a “digital detox”, Dr. Newport offers principles to apply to our digital lives, that allow us to reap the benefits of modern information technology without being obeisant to it.

The book’s greatest strength lies in that; having clear guidelines that can be applied to cut out the extra weight of digital media that has simply snuck in because of The Almighty Algorithm—and even tips on how to engage more mindfully with that if we still want to, for example using social media only in a web browser rather than on our phones, so that we can ringfence the time for it rather than having it spill into every spare moment.

In the category of criticism, the book sometimes lacks a little awareness when it comes to assumptions about the reader and the reader’s social circles; that (for example) nobody has any disabilities and everyone lives in the same town. But for most people most of the time, the advices will stand, and the exceptions can be managed by the reader neatly enough.

Stylistically, the book is not very minimalist, but this is not inconsistent with the advice of the book, if you’re curling up in the armchair with a physical copy, or a single-purpose ereader device.

Bottom line: if you’d like to streamline your use of digital media, but don’t want to lose out on the value it brings you, this book provides an excellent template

Click here to check out Digital Minimalism, and choose focused life in a noisy world!

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