Books Insights Non-Fiction Personal Development

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport | Book Review + Notes [Part 3: Minimalists vs Maximalists]

Ang freeing nung phrase na you will “happily miss out on everything else.” Naalala ko yung pinakinggan ko na podcast medyo recently lang. First time ko narinig yung term na JOMO.

Replace FOMO with JOMO (Joy of Missing Out). When everybody is off drinking and making shallow conversations, you are actually doing something deep and meaningful that brings more value to yourself and maybe to other people as well.

The Minimalists Podcast [Episode 250.5]

Sobrang tinamaan ako dito. And hindi pa nakatulong na andito ko sa ibang bansa. Medyo na-lessen na rin naman simula nung nagkapandemic kasi nga ang dalang na lumabas ng mga tao.

Pero eto yung slowly pinagaaralan kong matutunan. Yung joy of missing out. May significant improvement naman na actually. Hindi na ko super bitter pag nakikita kong may gathering yung family or friends ko. And minsan nga totally wala na yung bitterness. Happiness pa yung nararamdaman ko. I’ve come a long way na din pala.

So back to the Digital Minimalist philosophy, basically, you have to assess each and every app you use. Its benefits, what value it brings, how it provides convenience, etc.

The book differentiated the digital minimalists versus the digital maximalists.

Analyzes the benefits of each app and ignores some of the features that isn’t really valuableWants every potential benefit that the app can offer. Does not want to miss out on a new feature.
Curates their tools to deliver massive benefitsHas numerous downloaded apps that they rarely or overly use
Doesn’t mind missing out on small thingsAlways experiences FOMO

So far, super gets ko na. Everything stems out from our values and asking the question, “Ano ba talagang importante?” Eto yung paulit ulit na binabanggit dun sa book. At this point super solb na ko. Feeling ko kaya ko na. Pero just in case kulang pa, the author goes on to explain why this philosophy works and introduced three principles of digital minimalism.

Principle #1: Clutter is costly

When he said costly, the basis of measurement is not money, the author is talking about time as the currency. Pero sabi nga, time is gold so pwedeng i-relate pa din sa money.

Medyo pang intelligent yung analogy nya kasi he went on talking about economics. Pero to put it simply, when you decide to use or download an app, you are mainly focused on the benefits you’ll get from that app (or any technology for that matter). The benefits are also called “profits” in this book.

So for example sakin, ang mga profits na nakukuha ko sa Instagram ay:

  • Baka may madiscover akong new artist na pwedeng maka-inspire sakin
  • Baka may interesting news or idea ako na ma-encounter
  • Baka may new recipe ako na makita para ma-save ko and ma-try in the future
  • I will be updated kung ano man bagong ganaps sa friends ko or sa fina-follow kong celebrities

So it seems like the more I use these apps, the more profit I’ll receive. More benefits, more happiness, more everything. However, using these apps cost me time.

[You should] balance these profits againts the costs measured in terms of “your life”. How much of your time and attention must be sacrificed to earn the small profit of occasional connections and new ideas that is earned by cultivating a significant presence on [insert name of app here]?

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

Instagram pa lang yung example ko, so pano kung isama ko pa yung time that I spend on Youtube, Facebook, etc. And sobrang clear na sakin bakit umaabot ng 8-9 hours yung screentime ko.

Thoreau would note that this cost is almost certainly way too high for the limited benefits it returns.

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

This is why clutter is dangerous. It’s easy to be seduced by the small amounts of profit offered by the latest app or service, but then forget its cost in terms of the most important resource we possess: the minutes of our life.

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

Sobrang daming quotable quotes.

He (Henry Thoreau) asks us to treat the minutes of our life as a concrete and valuable substance—arguably the most valuable substance we possess…

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

…more often than not, the cumulative cost of the noncrucial things we clutter our lives with can far outweigh the small benefits each individual piece of clutter promises.

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

Principle #2: Optimization is important

At dahil sobrang clear na nga na not all benefits should be reaped, anong kasunod?

After deliberating kung anong apps lang ba talaga ang kelangan ko (so far nakapag-delete na ko ng 50+ apps), it’s time to “optimize” how I use them.

Based from the examples given on the book, eto yung mga naiisip ko na ways to optimize my app usage:

  • Messenger – 3x a week lang ako magche-check (T,TH,S)
  • Discord – once a week lang (every Wednesday morning tapos baka i-delete ko na yung app kasi available naman sa browser)

Waaaaa kaya ko ba??

  • Instagram – 3x or 2x a week

Temporarily deleted yung Instagram ko kasi ita-try ko yung “digital declutter” na suggestion nung book. More on this sa part 4.

  • E-mail – once a week lang din siguro
  • Podcasts – may gusto din akong i-set for listening to podcasts so pwedeng during drawing time lang ako makinig
  • Facebook and Telegram – deleted na forever (I will still use Facebook to update my business page pero sa browser lang)

Ano kaya?? Kaya ba? Plus I would also have to make sure na few minutes ko lang sila gagamitin every scheduled use.

Once you begin seeing new technologies simply as tools that you can deploy selectively, you’re able to fully embrace the second principle of minimalism and start furiously optimizing.

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

Sobrang gusto ko yung, “tools that you can deploy selectively”. I’m going to regain control!

Finding useful new technologies is just the first step to improving your life. The real benefits come once you start experimenting with how best to use them.

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

Principle #3: Intentionality is satisfying

Naniniwala yung author na ang ang main reason kung pano masusustain ng reader ang digital minimalism is yung feeling of satisfaction. Once you start living an intentional life, you will have a sense of meaning. If you have a sense of meaning, you will feel accomplished. If you feel accomplished, you will feel great. Satisfying nga naman.

Sa 1 week na pina-practice ko successfuly (semi) yung digital minimalism, lagi kong binibida kay Kenneth na “Nakaka 1 hour pa lang yung screentime ko!” “Hindi ako nagcheck ng Facebook!” “Ang rare ko na mag-share ng IG stories!” Ang saya nga naman sa feeling. And dahil snob ako sa phone ko kahapon, nakapag-basa ako ng madami, nakapag-drawing ako.


Tulad ngayon, ibibida ko na 4:28PM na dito, pero 26 minutes pa lang yung phone screentime ko. For a moment, nawala yung feeling na “Baka may nag-message.” “Baka may notification.” “Baka may na-miss akong usapan.” Haha pero ngayong nabanggit ko, medyo bumalik yung feeling. Pero controllable enough para hindi ako ma-tempt na mag-check. Pramis hindi ako nag-check.

The sugar high of convenience is fleeting and the sting of missing out dulls rapidly, but the meaningful glow that comes from taking charge of what claims your time and attention is something that persists.

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

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