Digital Minimalism covers a different way of approaching technology. Newport defines it as a philosophy in which you “focus your online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly support things you value, and then happily miss out on everything else.” Digital Minimalism describes a process for how to get there. Newport recommends a 30-day fast (a “declutter”) from optional technologies. After 30 days, you figure out which technologies best support real interpersonal connections or professional advancement. What distinguishes Newport’s book from other literature scolding people to get off their phones is that he talks about what else you should do with your time. By thinking seriously about what else you’d like to do with your analog leisure time, and building this into your life, you can find Facebook less tempting even if one lacks willpower.
While the title of this work focuses on minimizing digital distractions, the contents of the book focus on enlarging low tech leisure practices. The working premise seems to be to focus on filling up your leisure time with non-digital life-giving activities rather than defaulting to brain-drain addictive digital options. For example, the practice of spending time alone includes leaving your phone at home, taking daily long walks, and writing your thoughts down non-digitally (the author utilized moleskins). I think I shall try to put this in practice by taking both my phone (only to receive phone calls) and moleskin (along with my ever-present pen) on daily walks, throughout the day. This fits in with Glo’s helpful admonition for me to walk several miles every day for health and fitness.
The practice of “don’t click like” promotes verbal interaction and communication with friends and acquaintances rather than via digital interaction. In the section on reclaiming conversation, I was reminded of the gift of coaching and listening one-on-one, face-to-face. One of the suggestions I was particularly drawn to was inviting phone calls during long commutes (holding conversation office hours). I often find this the best time to check in on Glo and the kids as I typically have an hour-“ish” daily commute home in the evenings.
The practice of reclaiming leisure was interesting again in its focus on analog activities. The suggestions included participation in crafts, playing board games, fixing or building something every week, and joining an organization. I am challenged to create an alternative to reclaiming leisure as these suggestions do not attract my interest or fit within my available time (unless I can count my dminlgp9 activities as leisure!) Perhaps the biggest take-away from this section is to be purposeful, be life-giving, and find what works best for you and your unique circumstance.
I found the “Join the Attention Resistance” section challenging and yet inspirational. I appreciate Newport’s admonition to guard my attention as an asset that others only want to market and profit from at my expense. In this season of Lent, I am embarking on an experiment to utilize social media as only a tool, declutter my phone of apps, and embrace slow media. While this text will not be part of my research, it has given me a well-constructed approach to utilizing digital options simply as tools and learning how to reclaim leisure in analog forms.
 Vanderkam, Laura, Reviewed on February 6, 2019, Accessed on 03/08/2019, https://lauravanderkam.com/2019/02/digital-minimalism-a-review/
 Newport, Cal, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World (New York, NY: Portfolio/Penguin, 2019) 112-126.
 Newport, Digital Minimalism, 144-164.
 Newport, Digital Minimalism, 177-206.