digital minimalists

Dear Soulseekers,

Recently, a co-worker recommended a book to me saying that it’s been the best book he’s read to help him deal with anxiety. I was curious. So I looked it up, and this is what I found.

“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.” Cal Newport

https://www.amazon.com/Digital-Minimalism-Choosing-Focused-Noisy/dp/0525536515

This is me! I’ve always felt in the minority because I am not addicted to my phone. As I sit here typing, I don’t even know for sure where my phone is! I am the one “odd” person in the group who’s not constantly checking their phone for email, or texts or Facebook or whatever. My email is usually junk. I’m not on Facebook because time is precious to me and Facebook is a waste of my time. I love Instagram, but I have a specific time of day that I look at it and then I’m done. It’s not a “planned” time or scheduled, but it’s definitely intentional. My daytime hours are for my family, or for my self care time ( which doesn’t include screen time) or getting work done. My time is important, and staring at a small screen for hours is not how I wish to spend my time.

If I’m with you and we’re talking, YOU are what’s important. My phone is put away. It’s not sitting out on the table or within arm’s reach. It is out of sight. A perfect example: I went on a girl’s trip several years ago. We had a nice dinner and were enjoying a glass of wine just sitting around talking, when suddenly the conversation died. I noticed that everyone in the group, one by one, had gotten on their phones except for me. One minute we were all talking, and the next, everyone was checking their phone. I wondered, am I missing something? Do I need more apps? Should my family be texting me more while I’m away? The answer, in my opinion, is that we are all so consumed with our phones, instant information, fear of missing out on something from family or friends that we cannot enjoy and appreciate what is going on right in front of us or the peace and calm that we could find if we’d just slow down and not feel like we have to be “in the know” 24/7.

This is just my opinion, but I do agree with Cal Newport that constant and immediate access to news, information, social interaction, etc is not good for us. Our brains need some downtime and quiet and a slower pace. Our psyche needs it as well. Also the people you love need you and your attention. Show them that they are what’s important and that you are eager to know all about what is going on with them. After all, they are right there in front of you. The phone can wait.

Did you know that there is a National Day of Unplugging? We do! It’s the first weekend in March, March 5-6, 2021. Read more about it here. https://www.nationaldayofunplugging.com/

Join me and let’s participate. Just think of how freeing (anxiety producing?) it will be! I know I won’t have anxiety by giving it up, but maybe you are concerned that you will. I’m going to write more about that in a later post. For now, consider it. What could/would you do with a whole weekend without your phone? Maybe you feel like you could only commit to one day? It’s OK to take baby steps. Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that. So think about it.

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I'm honest, sarcastic, funny, loyal, a goal setter, determined, health conscious, a dreamer, a bibliophile, and a creative.

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