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“Cal Newport has discovered a cure for the techno-exhaustion that plagues our always-on, digitally caffeinated culture.”
—Joshua Fields Millburn, The Minimalists
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This past weekend, Toronto’s Digital Minimalism Meetup Group held our second event, practicing digital minimalism in a digitally-caffeinated culture. The event centered around discussing the challenges of the digital world and practical ways to implement digital minimalism to fit our lifestyle.
We started our lively discussion with the question, what attracted us all to digital minimalism. Response ranged from finding time for creative work to making time for cultivating one-on-one connections with people.
The challenges of the digital world were prevalent.
Two major themes emerged out of our two-hour long discussion: escapism and the need for connection. Our hyper connection to and dependence on the digital world is often the result of boredom and/or loneliness.
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Despite the challenges, most participants practiced digital wellness in one way or another. An individual shared putting their devices away at 10:00pm every night and using guided meditation apps to manage their device use.
Another individual showed us the Stay On Task app, and how it works for them. According to the Stay on Task website,
“Stay On Task is a simple, unobtrusive way to improve your focus and get your work done. It checks on you to make sure you’re doing your work and not loafing. A random timer means you can’t predict when it will check on you. Perfect for writers, programmers, students, or anyone who needs to stay focused while doing independent work.”
Another individual discussed having an accountability partner to monitor how much time they spent online.
My favorite tip was using digital devices and platforms to accomplish tasks, stay productive and improve our quality of life. For instance, you can listen to informative podcasts or watch entertaining YouTube videos while cleaning or working out.
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We ended our discussion by committing to one practical way to practise digital well-being, as follow:
- Carve out space for creativity and creative hobbies
- Don’t be hard on yourself
- Say no
- Build connections, real and one-on-one connections
- Combine internet with productivity
- Pay attention to and notice things around us in real life
- Carve out daily internet-free time
- Limit non-work related internet use to one hour or less daily
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This is by no means an exhaustive recap of everything we covered. I was a bit nervous then got really into the discussion and forgot to take detailed notes.
It was a lot of was discussing the impact of the digital world with like-minded people, sharing personal challenges and experiences, and learning from each other.
I would like to thank everyone that came out to our second meetup event! I hope it was just as enjoyable and educational for everyone as it was for me.
Until next time… 🙂