Episode 145: #DethronethePhone with Cal Newport and “Digital Minimalism”

Book: DIgital Minimalism

One big takeaway from this episode: what most of us need is to take stock of our screen usage.

In our interview with Cal Newport, he encouraged us to ask: What do we want from [Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/our News App/whatever]? And is the way we’re using it truly the best way to serve that goal?

According to Cal (and this is what makes this book so special), we shouldn’t feel guilty about struggling to manage our screens, and our phones in particular. They’re designed as slot machines, offering us tiny loops of unpredictably positive feedback–and we’re designed to find that hard to resist. But once we understand the ways technology urges us to check in again and again, it becomes easier to make our own decisions about when, how and why to do it.

Jess and I are both considering how we’re going to use our phones and social media in the days to come. I’m considering taking a hiatus and seeing what’s in my mind when all these other options aren’t–but trying to figure out what “hiatus” would mean for me.

If you’ve been trying to shift your tech use, we’d love to hear about it in the #AmWriting Facebook Group.