How to Practice Digital Minimalism
Have you ever been out with a friend and noticed that instead of talking to each other, you were both looking at your phones? Have you ever seen a group of teenagers standing around together and all staring down at their devices? Have you ever noticed that as soon as your phone makes a noise, you stop whatever you're doing to check it? If you can answer yes to any or all of these questions, you could probably use a little more digital minimalism in your life. This is a growing trend that encourages something everyone needs a little more of these days—real human connection.
Start Noticing Habits
The first step in digital minimalism is in noticing how much you're using technology during your daily routine. Do you take your phone with you everywhere you go? Do you freak out if you find out that you've accidentally left your phone at home...or even just in the car while you're in the store? How often are you on your laptop, your tablet, your gaming console? Start noticing how much time you're spending on social media websites, watching random videos on YouTube, scrolling through messages and simply playing around with your technology. Then, you can start focusing on minimalizing how much time you spend with your screens.
It's too much to ask yourself to live totally technology-free. After all, modern innovations have made life easier and more comfortable and that's worth celebrating. Smartphones are here for enjoyment and you should enjoy them. However, you can definitely fine-tune how you use them and take charge of how much time you spend just wasting time on your technology.
Do you really need to just scroll through social media posts for minutes or even hours at a time? Is it absolutely necessary to click into 15 different YouTube videos? Don't just pick up your phone or your tablet because you're thinking about it or you feel bored in a fleeting moment. Try to focus and hone your screen time by picking up your phone only when you have a specific task to perform. Even better, wait until you have a few tasks to perform. Maybe you need to check your bank account, answer an email or update your calorie log because you're trying to lose weight. Wait until you have some specific tasks to do before you connect to the digital world.
Don't just start accessing websites because they’re there. The digital world is so full of content, you can fall down the rabbit hole and never get back out if you aren't careful. You can never possibly see all the content that's out there, so be a little bit more discerning about the content you choose to look at so your tie is always well spent.
Try to limit the amount of time you spend connecting to the digital world. Every time you pick up your smartphone or tablet or get on your laptop to mess around, time yourself. Try to limit yourself to a specific amount of screen time every day so that you're still spending most of your time in the real world, looking at and speaking to the people who are really in the same physical space as you instead of those who you connect with digitally.