Review and Summary: Digital Minimalism

Digital Minimalism Book Cover

Author: Cal Newport

Publication date: 2 May 2021

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Number of pages: 304 pages


In this book, Cal Newport provides a kind of therapy regiment for most of us who are addicted to digital lives and bring us back to spend our time in reality instead of social media. Digital Minimalism consists of two parts, “foundation” and ”practices”. In foundation section, we identify the problem and causes of the noisy technology era. Meanwhile, in ”practices” section, this book offers the practical strategies on how to control ourselves in using tech devices.

Digital Minimalism offers solution to do 30-day digital detox and change it into doing other things you enjoy, such as going out with friends, reading some book, or any kind of hobbies. In addition, this book explains about practical tips on how to use gadget wisely and how to set notification so we use our phone when we truly need it, not checking the notification regularly as if scared of missing something.


The tycoons of social media have to stop pretending that they’re friendly nerd gods building a better world and admit they’re just tobacco farmers in T-shirts selling an addictive product to children. Because, let’s face it, checking your “likes” is the new smoking.

Bill Maher
  • We’ve been engaging in a lopsided arms race in which the technologies encroaching on our autonomy were preying with increasing precision on deep-seated vulnerabilities in our brains, while we still naively believed that we were just fiddling with fun gifts handed down from the nerd gods.
  • Digital minimalism is a philosophy of technology use in which you focus on 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.
  • Minimalists don’t mind missing out on small things; what worries them much more is diminishing the large things they already know for sure make a good life good.

“It’s a social-validation feedback loop […] exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”

Sean Parker

The Principle of Digital Minimalism

  • #1 CLUTTER IS COSTLY: cluttering time and attention with too many devices, apps, and services creates an overall negative costs
  • #2 OPTIMIZATION IS IMPORTANT: it’s necessary to think carefully about how they’ll use the technology
  • #3 INTENTIONALITY IS SATISFYING: derive significant satisfaction from general commitment to being more intentional about how they engage with new technologies.

Read-alikes Book List

If you like Digital Minimalism, you might be interested in another book written by Cal Newport:

A World Without Email by Cal Newport by BjornsbookLabs

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