Admit it, you’re always itching every now and then to check your phone notifications. You want to see what people are posting on social media and you have this urgency to update others with your life events as well.
It is indeed fun to be able to do all those, however, like what the saying goes, “too much of anything is bad”. Spending too much time in the digital world is overwhelming and can be bothersome. People need to consider walking the path of digital minimalism in order to have a peaceful life away from the pressures and stress of the online world.
Technology is both good and bad
In this day and age where technology has been impressing people by providing comfort and enjoyment in their lives, its usage has surpassed the necessary ‘normal’. People’s over-reliance on technology –most especially on digital technology such as social media, online games, and the like, has gone to a stage of abnormality. Moreover, it’s hard for them not to involve it in almost everything they do in a day.
The use of smartphones and gadgets entails an addiction that’s robbing people from genuinely having a nice time and living peacefully.
Yes, technology helps make people’s work easier. It connects them with their loved ones living far away. Also serves as a platform for self-expression, informs, educates, and provides other helpful services. However, most people use it too much to the point where technology gives them the opposite of its benefits.
We can’t deny that instead of making life more comfortable through technology, things get more hectic. Depending on how you use it, if you let yourself revolve around it too much, you’ll get out of track in focusing on what really matters.
- It distracts people from focusing on work or studies (you’re always online that you lessen your time on bigger responsibilities)
- Disconnects’ people from real socialization (e.g you keep taking photos instead of talking with others)
- A venue for bullying (too much self-expression on social media may be susceptible to calling out out or shaming others either consciously or unconsciously)
- Misinforms and miseducates, and just truly gives people more stress.
Aside from those mentioned, there’s still a lot of reasons why technology can potentially hassle your life. And it is only you, yourself who can save yourself from this. This is why people need to reassess their relationship with digital technology and go for digital minimalism.
What is Minimalism?
Before going directly to defining Digital Minimalism, it is best to understand what minimalism is first. According to Caleb Backe—a certified health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics, as mentioned in OprahMag website (What is a minimalist lifestyle), “A minimalist intentionally focuses on what really matters. For some, this means eliminating the ‘stuff’ that doesn’t make you happy”.
Minimalism encourages a lifestyle that is more of quality other than quantity. Or simply, choosing things that are of real value and necessary to one’s needs. This is what most people using digital technology don’t practice and therefore create stress of their own.
A short story about my experience with digital minimalism
In my personal experience, I used to have all the popular social media applications downloaded on my phone. I wanted to exist in different social media platforms because all my friends were there too and I wanted to bond with them.
Honestly, I had Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Soundcloud, Tiktok and a bunch more others altogether! Each had its own fun quirks. But, at the end of the day, I knew that not all of those applications were useful to me. You could say, I was there only for the hype. It then became a bother, having to maintain all my social worlds, feeling the urgency to check notifications and be active all the time. Hence, it didn’t make me happy anymore. Moreover, it gave me more burden and unnecessary responsibilities
And so, I decided to apply minimalism to my relationship with digital technology. Honestly, I tried digital minimalism to be more specific. Everything has been so lighter and better for me as I only use 3 social applications now.
Moreover, I feel detached to my phone. I survive a day not involving it in my activities (unlike before). Right now, I feel genuinely happier balancing the real world and the online world.
So, for those who are curious about digital minimalism, read below.
3 things about Digital Minimalism
Digital minimalism isn’t going all caveman
It isn’t rejecting digital technology entirely and turning into a caveman living life in the most prehistoric ways –techless. When you digitally minimize, you still use technology just in a very moderate and healthy way.
Digital minimalism is decluttering
As previously mentioned, digital minimalism doesn’t mean not using technology. It means you cut down on how much you use it. Like decluttering in your house, you decide which things to get rid of. You consider its value and if it will give you benefits. If not, it’s an immediate goodbye. And trust me, you will feel a lot better having to let go of unnecessary things.
Try analyzing which digital communication tools or social media applications distract you from focusing on work or tasks. You decide whether you’ll use it or cut it out from your life. Sure, all applications have their own special quirks but do you really need them all existing at the same time on your phone? Just think of all the notifications popping up on your phone from all these apps. Not only do they clutter your screen with update reminders and the like, they also decrease your phone’s battery usage and memory. What an eyesore! And don’t deny, you don’t even use some of them on a daily basis. Just let go of them if not needed. It won’t be a loss too. You can always re-download apps when you need them again.
Digital minimalism encourages people to declutter all the toxicities brought about by technology. Depending on the person, one may opt for moderation on their usage or avoiding it entirely.
Digital minimalism should be long-term
The way people misuse digital technology resembles an addiction.It prevents them from doing things normally. Moreover, it gives them stress from the things they see online..
Digital minimalism feels like a rehabilitation method for this type of person. One commits to digital minimalism long-term because it trains oneself to fight the mindless scrolling.. If one fails to do this in the long-run, a relapse would occur. That shows an unending cycle!
Think about it. When one only digital minimizes on one weekend, and comes back to his usual routine the coming days, and that’s it — never again. That’s not really helping him to improve his overuse of digital technology, it’s like he just tried it out.
Discipline and commitment to digital minimalism is the key to a healthy relationship with digital technology.
Technology can never really be eradicated in people’s lives. It’s too helpful and entertaining for us. However, like the popular line in Spiderman, “With great power, comes great responsibility” –and that’s exactly how we should use technology.
People are bestowed with the access to technological advances and depending on the user, it could be either bad or good. One has to have proper discipline and be responsible enough to limit themselves from excessive usage of it. Just remember that if it hinders you from the other good things in life, stop it. Your life shouldn’t just revolve around one thing. You have to enjoy different things in life.
If you’re one who is getting a little too caught up and trapped in technology, remember that you have to disconnect to help yourself.
Digital minimalism is one’s weapon to counter this, it helps keep people in the line of a healthy digital technology usage and it surely works to make lives more peaceful both online and offline.