Your Mental Capacity And You
We tend to overestimate the ratio between our time and our mental capacity. We are spending more and more time in front of screens and devices, which is changing how we think, concentrate, and process information. People are becoming more and more mindful of our society’s limited attention span and an overabundance of information caused by the age of the internet.
The solution to this might be introducing some kind of digital hygiene to combat the bombardment of information that we see day in and day out. And this is exactly what we refer to as “digital minimalism,” so allow us to take you through this fairly new yet exciting concept!
What Is Digital Minimalism
You can find many different approaches and meanings for Digital Minimalism, but the baseline is this: you’re limiting your informational intake on your digital devices.
You’re clearing all the clutter. You’re deleting all those just-in-case apps that keep sending you notifications. If you’re an extremist, you get off of social media completely. Digital Minimalism is the effort to gain back control over your attention span and spend more time on the things that matter.
Social Media and Informational Abundance
News, gossip, images, video, and carefully curated portrayals of people living the best of their lives. This is social media, and chances are you’re on it. And all of it is tailored just for you.
Notice how conveniently the next video or the next article are laid out for you – It’s right there. The algorithm knows what you want, and it wants to give it to you. Now.
‘’No information technology ever had this depth of knowledge of its consumers – or greater capacity to tweak their synapse to keep them engaged.’’
- Andrew Sullivan, ‘’I Used To Be A Human Being’’
Apart from social media, more and more people have the tendency to hoard information nowadays. Today, when you see something beautiful, your instinct is to pull out your phone and photograph it. Somehow, just enjoying the moment doesn’t cut it anymore.
We need it saved. And we need it validated by other users.
Why Become a Digital Minimalist
The number one reason might be that you’re… suffering. Studies have shown that social media use is linked to depression, poor sleep, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Researchers also show that the internet is essentially hijacking our ability to be analytical and to concentrate.
If you’ve caught yourself mindlessly scrolling, looking for nothing in particular then you might want to consider giving Digital Minimalism a try.
How To Embrace Digital Minimalism
In order to embrace Digital Minimalism, we need to become mindful of our digital habits. An investigation into your own habits is in order. Try and measure for yourself how much time you’re spending on social media or on your phone.
The time that is not linked to any goal in particular. How often do you check email and social media? Most probably as soon as you get the notification or just habitually every few minutes. You can give Digital Minimalism a try with these introductory ideas:
Batch Your Digital Tasks & Schedule Them
Chances are your business, or your job won’t burn down if you check your email once a day. Some jobs like Customer Support don’t allow this, but if your job or business does, give it a try and you might even experience a boost in productivity.
Simply keep track of all your digital tasks like emailing, batch them up and schedule them to be completed at a certain time each day.
Limit Social Media
Take notice of how often you end up on social media just by habit. Try and mindfully enforce a daily limit to social media. Allow your dopamine receptors to regain back their sensitivity. In doing this, you will notice how you don’t really miss out on much, BUT you get a load of time to invest in things that truly matter.
Limit Streaming And Entertainment
Entertainment, infotainment it’s all around the corner. It’s not even around the corner, it’s in your house, in your pocket. Readily available. That doesn’t mean that you should be taking advantage of it every time you feel a bit of boredom.
To sometimes be bored is human. But truth be told, we are now addicted to constantly chasing the dragon, always looking for the next series to binge or the next game to play.
Unlike us, YouTube won’t disappear.
Slow down, look around and spend some time with people you cherish because, unlike the informational overabundance that will only keep growing, the people you love won’t be there forever. Again – Pay attention to what matters, and when it comes to giving your time and attention, choose wisely!
So, what does this have to do with digital minimalism? Minimalism is all about paring down your possessions and focusing on the essentials. Applied to our digital lives, it means getting rid of everything that doesn’t add value and only keeping the tools and apps that we need to be productive and connected.
For most people, this process starts with decluttering their desktops, email inboxes, and social media feeds. It can be a challenge at first, but once you get into the habit of regularly purging your devices of unnecessary clutter, you’ll find that you’re more focused and productive when you use them.
So if you’ve caught yourself spending more time in front of the screen, take up on this idea and try it out!