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Digital Minimalism

On Living Better with Less Technology
Written by: Cal Newport
Narrated by: Will Damron
Length: 7 hrs
Categories: Science & Math, Technology
4.5 out of 5 stars (126 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Listen to Digital Minimalism and you'll never again mindlessly sacrifice your productivity to clickbait or lose 40 minutes of your evening to your Instagram feed.  

In this timely and enlightening audiobook, Cal Newport introduces a philosophy for technology use that has already improved countless lives.   

Digital minimalists are all around us. They're the calm, happy people who can hold long conversations without furtive glances at their phones. They can have fun with friends and family and eat out at restaurants without the obsessive urge to document the experience.... 

Now, Newport gives us a name for this quiet movement and makes a case for its urgency in our tech-saturated world. Drawing on a diverse array of real-life examples, from Amish farmers to harried parents to Silicon Valley programmers, Newport identifies the common practices of digital minimalists and the ideas that underpin them.   

Digital Minimalism will teach you how to rethink your relationship to social media and rediscover the pleasures of the offline world. It'll help you implement a 30-day 'digital declutter' process, making sure you're in control of your tech and not the other way around.   

©2019 Cal Newport (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd

Critic Reviews

"An urgent call to action for anyone serious about being in command of their own life." (Ryan Holiday) 

"Cal's call for meaningful and engaged interactions is just what the world needs right now." (Daniel Levitin, author of The Organised Mind)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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A Maximalist Review for Digital Minimalism

It's kind of irony that I listened to this beautiful book using a smart cellphonen which author discourages and it's a testimony as well, because I don't want to use digital smartphone anymore. it's a tool book or practice book - I am currently in a digital diet with no social media consumption for a month and already repeating rewards with loss of waste weight in time currency that made me fat and slow and dumb minded. I don't why people call it self help - it's much much beyond like a soul help.

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A practical approach to use digital info

Very good insight how not to be enslaved by attention seeking digital info overload. Exercise self control and be selective what to consume.
Very good script and narration. Easy to listen at 1.5x speed.

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good read

much needed treatise on how to survive in the chaos of digital attention seeking devices

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Really important for this digital age

Before reader this book I watched the documentary about minimalism the experience with book was similarly awesome this book gives new perspective of living life with control over our digital habits also covers really important topics like solitude and techniques to overcome our technology addiction with good examples.

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Raju's review

Worth reading ( listening ) 😊 . The book is a synopsis of the new trend to reverse engineer our methods of working ...and raises many questions for us to ponder and act .

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awesome audiobook for productivity.

awesome narration and with feeling like i am talking with the author and they telling their words.

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The idea is the book is convincing..

The book proposed a theory where smartphone users must try to un-glue the gadgets from their hands in order to restore mental stability and attention. The author takes help of multiple studies from present and past to prove his point and some if not all are agreeable propositions. A book is a good one time read...

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Deleted my social media

what a great insight....surely buying this book and giving to my wife.

decultering and following on is essentially important to be human again.

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  • Herman Freysen
  • 20-05-19

Import message in these times

Do not trust that social media is there to serve you and improve your happiness.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mayur
  • 26-09-19

Don't lose tech... Use tech in a better way !

Book tells us that "Technology is an incredible innovation that enabled us to live best life than any other human lived in the history.
But we shouldn't get in trap of attention economy to waste our precious time. Instead we should use it to experience things that we deeply value.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Shayhum Aboosalih
  • 05-04-20

An added pdf would be nice

An added pdf would be nice, like the bibliography in Deep Work.

Great Book!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-01-20

Practical Advices to be a digital make minimalist

This book is definitely an eye opener to think about our digital activities. Cal provided practical advices on how to embrace the digital minimalism.

This book asked me the question of the real use of social media.

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  • Ori
  • 10-01-20

Reaffirmed decisions and feelings I had already

I always had a feeling that social media platforms are wasting my time, and even sometimes asked myself, after scrolling a lot "what am I doing?". The book breaks down in great detail how the attention economy we grew to know, skyrocketed with social media platforms to the point that our time and attention is literally being robbed by mindless scrolling and empty, emotional shock value videos or posts. Great read, taught me how to use social media with intent to empower the things that important to me. Reminds me of the book easy way to quit smoking by allen carr, as it points out all the behaviors, rationalization and excusing we put out, to keep using, instead of regaining control and realizing the truth.

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  • Nadhrah Athirah
  • 10-10-19

My thoughts

Love it. I've been trying to cut down my social media use, especially. I've been trying to practice some of it, i hope it works well (it is for at least one week while listening to this audiobook). Very inspiring. Thank you! Also this is my first audiobook ever, and so far i've been looking forward for more.

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  • Kiyaga Raymond
  • 17-06-19

Quite enlightening

Carl’s new book highlights the dangers of modern tools that affect our instincts to socialise. He highlights ways in which one can battle them and shows you how to be vigilant.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-04-19

exactly what I needed, when I needed it!

As good and helpful as Deep Work. Especially helpful and enlightening for people like me since I work online and have to be connected more than I like.
Easier said than done, yes, but Cal outlines practical steps that we all can follow to take back control over our lives.

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  • Harry B.
  • 11-11-19

Some valuable strategies drags on.

This book began well by really breaking down the problem and giving useful strategies for overcoming it, however began to drag on and ironically lost focus in the second half, blaming tech for things such as the rise of teen anxiety with little to no evidence. Ultimately, while I think there is a lot of wisdom in this book, it's quite possibility an overcorrection that blames tech for too much. I personally think technology is revealing humanities shortcomings rather than creating them.

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  • Philippa Turner
  • 20-04-19

Thought Provoking; Shame About The Narrator

This is a very interesting read, and has prompted me to delete social media apps from my phone. The summary of the ways in which social media use the mechanisms of gambling/slot machines and ‘hack our brains’ is an arresting one, and is impactful. The ‘practices’ (exercises) are do-able.

This is let down by the narrator (not Cal Newport), who is quite mechanistic, although my main criticism is his way of narrating quotes by women. The change in tone is unnecessary and sounds incredibly patronising.

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  • Ben Kepka
  • 06-02-19

Essential Reading for Everyone with a Smartphone!

This is my first review, and it's not going to be a long one. Simply put, this book outlines exactly why you need to take stock of your phone use and how to do it. You'll learn to uncover the beauty of full focus and concentration. Something most people struggle with these days. We are living in a distracted world, where 100% uninderupted thought is almost something of the past. It is possible to gain control again and break the addiction!

Digital Minimalisim should be required reading for everyone with a smartphone in 2019.

Thanks Cal!

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  • Halimah
  • 17-02-19

Enjoyable listen, implemented a few things already

Finished it within a week and implemented a few practical tips with good effect- filling social media/ TV time with activities that bring me joy e.g. long walks- so good for figuring out problems I'm worried about; making a meal for family; hoping to try cross fit and potentially mouse book club with time. Feeling so much better, thanks Cal Newport for a balanced approach:)

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-03-20

Worth a listen

I stumbled upon a video on YouTube which was all about getting rid of all social media for 30 days.

The video referenced and recommended this audio-book as inspiration to why one would remove social media from their lives.

Since listening to this I no longer feel compelled to keep myself updated with what everyone else is doing, and have successfully avoided social media for a total of 2 weeks.

Anyone who's in a similar situation as I am, I recommend you listen to this. As there were a quite a few pieces of advice that I will use in the future.

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  • Roger D.
  • 01-02-20

worth a listen

if you are interested in listening to the book you probably instinctively know much of what is said but it is inspiring to here it said and has lead me to take action. This is the only comment I'll be leaving anywhere for a while!

one done side is reader's attempt to do women's voices. Better if they were read straight.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-01-20

Good, practical, but nothing new

These are good ideas, but they don't bring a lot new. For half a dozen years these points are being made. Newport himself made them popular before his *previous* book, Deep Work, came out. Whereas Deep Work was about re-using your time (from being a digital minimalist) to focus on work, this book is more open ended about what you do with extra time. Newport seems to have found a niche market and is repeating himself.

IF you have one, don't bother with the other.

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  • Owen
  • 07-01-20

Not Good for Those with Addiction

This book is great for explaining just how bad the problem with smart-phones are these days. And it talks a lot about communities that don't use smart phones and how even with stress and strain in their life, they're still happier than most people.

The problem with this book is that the advice given in this book on how one should change the way one uses their phone expects the reader to not be addicted to their phone. Taking a 30-day digital declutter works if you're someone who doesn't realize how much time you spend on your phone but are still conscious of your phone use. It doesn't work at all if you're addicted to your phone and hope to get over that addiction.

I wanted to like this book, but it's clear the outside perspective the author has limits his ability to understand the direness of many teenagers' and young adults' situation.

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  • HonestMom
  • 28-11-19

A cracking book

Loved it. Raised some interesting questions about how we utilize our digital life and how best to optimise its function in your life.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-10-19

Reconsider how you use technology

Interesting listen. Sometimes a bit vague, but delivers nice starting point to apply concept of digital minimalism and delivers interesting reasons why

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-09-19

Must have!!!

Thank you very much for this great audiobook. A few years ago I already started to cut my time spent online but with this I got even more ideas what to do in the future.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-08-19

Read Deep Work

Not a bad book but it’s not worth reading both this and deep work. Deep work is a better book.

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  • daniel
  • 03-06-19

Just what I needed

If you’re trapped in the middle of the night scrolling through social media I would recommend giving this book a read.

Cal dives deep into the reasons how social media is impacting us. I use to spend 6hrs on my phone a day, this month I have set my goal to only use it for 1 hour a day, limiting my screen time.

It offered me insight to how minimising social media will add benefits to my life and how it would affect yours positively too.

Overall great book, there are parts that didn’t interest me too much, maybe because I didn’t know the people he was referencing but other than that definitely pick up this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • alex
  • 28-05-20

Brilliant read whilst away with family

I chipped away at this on walks whilst with a family get away and it did me wonders. I’m always picking up my phone to browse reddit, instagram, YouTube vids Netflix. And this re awakened my self awareness.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard or been aware of some of these topics, but it was the first to go all in-depth and relatively current. I did lose some interest with a couple of the more long winded passages, but once the story was over I did look back and think it was relatively necessary to understand the overall gist of the select message.

Very worthwhile read, and can proclaim that deleting the Attention stealing apps does work, but do replace them. For example; instead of picking up my phone constantly now, I bought a small travel lonely planet phrasebook and dictionary on Polish. And instead of reaching for my phone to trawl social media’s, I pull out the little book and prattle off some lines or try and memorise a tongue twister etc.

Do give it a crack, it’s well worth it :)

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  • Lilac Hell
  • 24-05-20

Good content, didn't love the narration

I thought the content was good. Maybe a bit long but I'm a convert. Didn't love the narration. Why did he put that weird "light" voice on whenever he was quoting a woman?

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  • Emma
  • 20-05-20

life changing

Cal Newport writes an excellent treatise on Digital minimalism and living intentionally.

If you, like me, have struggled with maintaining a sensible level of digital application use, this will help you immensely.

Bravo.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-02-20

Inspirational

Just what I needed to motivate me on my journey to digital minimalism. Definatetly worth a read.

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  • SeanC
  • 22-12-19

Alarmingly relevant

After listening to this book - twice, consecutively - I’m left questioning my present approach to all things internet related.
I’m not sure whether to love, or hate this book. I think I’m erring on the former. However, I recommend it for anyone wanting to detach themselves from social media and it’s evil and addictive undermining effect on our lives.

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  • Neale Blackwood
  • 16-12-19

Less is more

Your attention is worth more to you then social media so don't give it away. This book explains how the big social media organisatons make money the more time you spend on their platform. As the saying goes "if a service if free you are the product". The book has lots of strategies to help you wean yourself off social media for a much better life.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-12-19

Thank you Cal

Well written and compelling. Has completely changed my connection to tech.
I feel like my days are longer and suddenly I have more time.
Highly recommend, just about to press play for a second listen.

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  • Ryan
  • 26-11-19

Great Read!

I’d heard that this book was good and it did not disappoint. It went way deeper than I expected.