Digital Declutter Debrief: An Overview
Today is July 1st. June’s digital declutter is finished.
First, I commend this to all regular readers of this blog. It’s healthy and proffers clarity. It also reveals blind spots and places where digital connectivity has more control of your life than you might think. I suggest doing a declutter. Not a detox. This isn’t about taking a break from technology, only to dive back in exactly like before so I can detox again next year. The decluttering process changes your relationship with technology, your digital habits.
To learn more, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Cal Newport’s book “Digital Minimalism”. Follow his prescription for your decluttering.
Lest there be any confusion, let's begin with this caveat:
I love technology. I like the apps. I like the tools. I like keeping my tech up to date. When there’s an update or a new OS, I am on the front end of downloading that sucker — and then poking around inside to see what’s new and what’s possible.
I love to think about the possibilities.
And we live in an age of incredible possibilities. Because of this device in my pocket, I can:
- Stay connected with people I genuinely care about all over the world.
- Work from anywhere.
- Work anytime.
- Make cool and amazing things — I can write a book or make a movie or develop a piece of software or create an online community. From just about anywhere.
We also live in an age that’s more distracted and lonely and bored than any other in history. Ironically, each of these societal ills are traced back to technology.
The technology we use should be leveraged to make the most difference in the world and in the lives of people around us. Technology should be used to help people and end global poverty and human trafficking and cure cancer.
It has that capability.
I don’t want to use technology in such a way that my only contribution is making Mark Zuckerberg richer.
For many of us — that’s exactly how we use the miracle that is our iPhone.
A declutter brings this into sharp focus — and makes us rethink and change our habits.
I discovered four principles last month that will shape me moving forward.
- Presence is more important than connectivity.
- Demanding activity is more important the passive consumption.
- Media that takes hours to consume is more important than media that takes seconds to consume.
- Work is more important than tools.
I will write about each of these principles this week.
Are you considering a digital declutter?
Let me know. I’d love to follow your journey.