Cal Newport on Digital Minimalism – The Moment with Brian Koppelman

Key Takeaways

  • Instead of looking for the one thing that you’re passionate about, look for something that’s interesting, well-suited for your skills, and can open up options for you in the future
  • Most technology isn’t purely good or bad, it all depends on how it’s used
  • Even when a service is free, you still have to think about the cost (time) and value you get from it
    • For every online activity you perform, weigh the time and energy input vs. the value output you recieve
  • Technology companies engineer their apps to be as addicting as possible

Intro

  • Cal Newport is an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University

A Little Bit About Cal

  • Cal signed his first book deal at 21-years-old
  • Cal tends to write about things that interest him in different stages of life
    • His first book was about getting better grades in school while his most recent book was about how to apply the principle of minimalism to technology
  • Cal loved to read books as a kid and developed his interest in writing during college

Finding Your Passion

  • Both Brian and Cal don’t really agree with the commonly stated advice – “Find a your passion”
    • Instead of looking for the one thing that you’re passionate about, look for something that’s interesting, well-suited for your skills, and can open up options for you in the future
      • Keep an eye out for the thing you have the potential to become so good at, that people can’t possibly ignore you
      • Be curious and try many different things to discover what interests you
        • Once you find something, then go all in

Digital Minimalism

  • This is Cal’s new book which teaches people how to properly use smartphones and social media
    • Even though Cal himself doesn’t use social media, he makes the point that sometimes it’s good to get an outsider’s perspective on a topic
    • Digital minimalism is all about removing “optionable technology,” identifying which tech adds value to your life, and then slowly adding it back in
  • Most technology isn’t purely good or bad, it all depends on how it’s used
  • Cal ran a digital minimalism experiment with several hundred people
    • About 50% of people in the experiment quit using social media altogether
    • The other 50% of people who kept their social media accounts all changed how they used it (for example – many of the people deleted the social media apps on their phone and began only using it on their laptops)
  • Younger generations tend to have a harder time doing a digital detox because they grew up turning to technology whenever they had free time
    • Brian says deleting the Facebook app from his phone was a huge plus in his life – he now checks Facebook just once a week or so to catch up with important notifications instead of spending time on it every day
  • Even when a service is free, you still have to think about the cost (time) and value you get from it
  • Just as food companies engineer their food, technology companies try to do the same with their apps in order to make them as addicting as possible
  • Minimalism is an ancient idea that goes all the way back to the Stoics
    • It’s all about taking your time and energy and focusing it on the things that you know are highly valuable
      • For every online activity you perform, weigh the time and energy input vs. the value output you receive
Bookmark
Facebooktwitterredditmail

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FREE! THE TOP 10 PODCASTS OF 2018, AND WHAT WE LEARNED

You'll also get our weekly newsletter with the takeaways from our curated list of top podcasts. Unsubscribe anytime.