“Digital Minimalism” Quotes

I recently read (the kindle version of) “Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World” by Cal Newport. Here’s the quotes I found most interesting.

As Dave explained to me, his own father wrote him a handwritten note every week during his freshman year of college. Still touched by this gesture, Dave began a habit of drawing a new picture every night to place in his oldest daughter’s lunchbox. His two youngest children watched this ritual with interest. When they became old enough for lunchboxes, they were excited to start receiving their daily drawings as well. “Fast-forward a couple of years, and I’m spending a decent chunk of time every night doing three drawings!” Dave told me with obvious pride. “This wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t protect how I spend my time.” Location 489-493

Thoreau establishes early in Walden: “The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” Location 546-547

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone,” Blaise Pascal famously wrote. Location 1131-1132

Storr notes that the need to spend a great deal of time alone was common among “the majority of poets, novelists, and composers.” Location 1140-1141

Three crucial benefits provided by solitude: “new ideas; an understanding of the self; and closeness to others.” Location 1153-1154

Experiencing separation, he argues, builds your appreciation for interpersonal connections when they do occur. Location 1157-1157

Regular doses of solitude, mixed in with our default mode of sociality, are necessary to flourish as a human being. Location 1164-1165

The urgency we feel to always have a phone with us is exaggerated. To live permanently without these devices would be needlessly annoying, but to regularly spend a few hours away from them should give you no pause. Location 1345-1346

They found, for example, that if you increase the amount of likes or links clicked by a standard deviation, mental health decreases by 5 to 8 percent of a standard deviation. Location 1624-1625

The idea that it’s valuable to maintain vast numbers of weak-tie social connections is largely an invention of the past decade or so. Location 1796-1797

A life well lived requires activities that serve no other purpose than the satisfaction that the activity itself generates. Location 1911-1912

You can’t, in other words, build a billion-dollar empire like Facebook if you’re wasting hours every day using a service like Facebook. Location 2291-2292

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