Exactly fifteen days ago, I listened to a podcast from The Art of Manliness about being a digital minimalist. (I’m not affiliated with them– wish I was! — but it was so good here’s the link anyway: https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/digital-minimalism-cal-newport/)

In the podcast, the guest recommends we have very little presence on social media, and instead have personal blogs or domains where we can offer what we know. I admit that although I was inspired by this (and subsequently deleted half of my social media accounts), I am not a digital minimalist by any means.

However, I do like to write and I like to tell people what I think. And, duh, I have a blog… that I seldom use… because I am a fool.

No longer. I have things to say, thoughts to share, and information to spread, so prepare yourself for articles and pictures from yours truly coming soon. And in the meantime, you may consider cutting back on your digital presence, yourself.

I like bullet points, so here are the takeaways that I, um, took away from the above-mentioned podcast:

  • The Internet is great for learning. There is an abundance of knowledge and people ready to share it with you. You can find many communities interested in things you’re interested in.
  • Therefore, find the websites and Pinterest boards and people and groups that inspire you — that really cultivate the desire in you to pursue your passions and develop your talents. Work on your analog skills, and use the Internet to help with that.
  • On social networks like Instagram, only follow accounts that give you good ideas. Follow friends that you wouldn’t see otherwise and that you would like to see otherwise. If you’re not good friends and don’t want to meet them in person…. then maybe don’t follow them.
  • Don’t “like” posts, because 1) your likes are being tracked, and the algorithms will send you more posts you may like, which will just end up sidetracking and distracting you, and 2) because we tend to think of “likes” as a social interaction, although it’s not (we haven’t heard or spoken a word, or seen another person). Liking posts makes us feel like we’ve been sufficiently social, and can make us withdraw without ever actually interacting with a person. That, my friend, is a recipe for loneliness and un-fulfillment.
  • It’s old news, but it’s true: set time limits on your social media activity. Be conscious of how you spend your time on the Internet. If you make your time scarce, you’re more likely to spend it on things that are important to you.

Short story shorter, I recommend you reevaluate your time on the Internet, even if you don’t think you spend too much time there. Think about your purpose here, and whether you’re pursuing things that will make you a better, happier person.

We talk a lot about not having much free time. Yes, we work many hours a week. Yes, most of the non-working hours are spend sleeping (or trying to sleep). But the reality is, we voluntarily waste much of our free time on things we don’t even enjoy.

What’s your hobby? What do you want to learn? What do you want to create? Spend your few minutes of free time forcing your way into those things, not just compulsively scrolling or clicking videos on YouTube.

For me, I’m going to Google jobs that will take me to Antarctica.



Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day!

2 thoughts on “Digital Presence

  1. I recently listened to this very episode and also wrote about it! It seems to be making the rounds lately and I’m glad it is. I think we also need to look hard at the social media company’s values (privacy, pushing certain agendas). I also liked how Cal Newport called social media the lazy way of being online. Nice post! Glad to see others are embracing digital minimalism.

    Liked by 1 person

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