Book Review | Digital Minimalism

Digital Minimalism
Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

…checking your “likes” is the new smoking

Cal Newport

The quote above tells us a lot about Cal’s book. I had really been looking forward to this book. I first her about Cal Newport from The Minimalist podcast. They talk about his book often almost as much as the books they have written themselves. In Digital Minimalist by Cal Newport I learned to delete apps that I use too much. Pay attention to the app usage reports that my iPhone gives me and try to stay away from social media apps, not much to be gained there. Although I do believe there are some good uses, you can just pick up your phone every time you get bored, as the quote above suggests. “Everyone secretly fears being bored.”

Another keeper from Cal is, “…wearing a red shirt on a dating profile will lead to significantly more interest than any other color,…” I love these kinds of insights, although I have no need for that particular one, maybe it will help one of you reading this post!

…the notification symbol for Facebook was originally blue, to match the palette of the rest of the site, “but no one used it.” So they changed the color to red–an alarm color–and clicking skyrocketed.”

Cal Newport

Likes is a behavioral addiction, the drive for social approval. Many are caught up in there. Many also believe that anyone can start a popular, revenue-generating blog. I’ve never made any money on any blogs or the podcast that I ran for years. Some can but it is the minority for sure.

It all comes do to this really…

Digital Minimalism: A philosophy of technology use 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.

Cal Newport

The average Facebook user uses the site for 50 minutes every day!

Don’t click and don’t comment

Cal Newport

Authors mentioned in the book: Decartes, Newton, Locke, Pascal, Spinoza, Kant, Leibniz, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Kierkgaard, and Wittgenstein.

A 2015 study found that teenagers use social media (text messaging and apps) about 9 hours a day on average.

In 90% of your daily life, the presence of a cell phone either doesn’t matter or makes things only slightly more convenient.

Cal Newport


  1. Prioritize demanding activity over passive consumption
  2. Use skills to produce valuable things in the physical world
  3. Seek activities that require real-world, structured social interactions

The Dunbar number of 150 is a theoretical limit of the number of people that a human can successfully keep track of in their social circles. How many “friends” do you have?

Your Time = Their Money

Cal Newport

We all need to read and understand what Cal is telling us. We have fallen asleep and fallen into this new digital world, leaving the real-world behind or at the very least largely ignoring the real-world and real people. This book will hopefully, help you make some changes and wake up!