Thoughts on Digital Minimalism

My life has been at least partly influenced by my wife’s desire to partake in some of the habits of an analog minimalist. I find myself making decisions in other areas based on these principals.

So I was thrilled to find this podcast where Ezra Klein interviewed Cal Newport about ridding yourself of inessential clutter within the world many creatives work: online. I was even more thrilled to find this post by Newport on digital minimalism.

The bottom line of this general thinking is that a simple, carefully curated, minimalist digital life is not a rejection of technology or a reactionary act of skepticism; it is, by contrast, an embrace of the immense value these new tools can offer…if we’re willing to do the hard work of figuring out how to best leverage them on behalf of the things we truly care about. [CalNewport.com]

I feel the anxiety of social media and digital clutter often and on a physical level so the push to get away from this, to say “no” to following one more person or one more blog is welcomed.

The rub is how to incorporate a quiet professional life when, by definition, my job is to make noise and stir things up. I think it’s possible. I just think it’s very difficult which also means the reward for doing so will be great.

On The Pursuit of Online Fame

One of the battles I find myself waging — and presume most writers who are Christians wage — is pushing back against the desire and pull of being online famous. I think there is a craving within us all to receive adulation from as many people as possible, and the easiest path to that is writing funny, compelling stuff on the internet.

[raises hand]

But Piper recently had an interesting twist on this war.

But let’s end where we began. Yes, it is a sin to want to be famous. However, it may not be a sin to want to be influential. In fact, it may be a sin not to want to be influential. We should want to win more and more people to Christ. It is a sin not to want our lives to count for winning more and more people to Christ. [DG]

It’s just as easy to go the other way and become an online hermit, rejecting every opportunity for establishing yourself as a writer. Both extremes are easy. The difficult path, per the usual, is sidling up and riding that through line of popularity because you’re good at something and humility because you’re to always point to Jesus.