“have you seen the tiger yet?” I had just refilled my cup at grace street coffee histiocytoma tumor on the campus of georgetown university and was somewhere into histiocytoma tumor my second hour of media mindlessness on my iphone when histiocytoma tumor a nice looking young man in jeans and a long histiocytoma tumor sleeve button-down planted himself in front of me and jolted me histiocytoma tumor out of my stupor with his bizarre question.
What or who is the tiger and how did she histiocytoma tumor get in our mobile phones? According to newport, the stalking stripped feline is social media apps like facebook, instagram, and twitter. It should be self-evident that a company like facebook, valued at $500 billion, would have an agenda. However, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the social part of the histiocytoma tumor majority of social media apps has a significant dark side. So dark in fact that newport recommends we delete facebook histiocytoma tumor (and all other social media apps not essential for one’s business) off our phones and severely limit their use on other histiocytoma tumor devices.
Like a hidden tiger in a social media stereogram, we don’t see our endless scrolls and swipes for what they histiocytoma tumor indeed are until several hours invested in objectively squinting; looking deeper, then the “ah ha!” moment when the image jumps out at us from the histiocytoma tumor screen. But we needn’t fear, say the social media megacorps, the “tiger” wants us alive, not dead. It’s not our selfies, but our attention that she’s after.
With the amount of available information soon to be doubling histiocytoma tumor every 12 hours, our ability to focus has become severely compromised. Thus, our attention has become an increasingly valuable asset. And it’s this asset that is making social media companies among histiocytoma tumor the most valuable on the planet and their founders into histiocytoma tumor billionaires. The information economy is in the rearview mirror. We are now in the attention economy.
One of the central messages of digital minimalism, as well as newport’s previous literary contribution, “deep work” is that our ability to eliminate distraction and do focused, deep work, is fast becoming the single trait that will enable us histiocytoma tumor to succeed in this new economy. A study he cites by gloria mark at the university histiocytoma tumor of california irvine found that it takes an average of histiocytoma tumor 23 minutes to regain focus after just one break in histiocytoma tumor attention.
Newport asserts that thoreau, whom many see as solely a herald for solitude and histiocytoma tumor lover of nature, had much more to teach us about life beyond the histiocytoma tumor pond. Cal writes, “[thoreau] asks us to treat the minutes of our life as histiocytoma tumor a concrete and valuable substance—arguably the most valuable substance we possess—and to always reckon with how much of this life histiocytoma tumor we trade for the various activities we allow to claim histiocytoma tumor our time” (page 43).
I resonated with cal’s recommendation for us to determine our values, then to shape our lives (including our use of both time and technology) accordingly. In 2016 my wife, sarah, and I were trading way too much time to maintain histiocytoma tumor a lifestyle we no longer wanted. With the guidance we received from greg mckeown’s book, “essentialism” and “the minimalists” blog, we sold our 4000 square foot home with the pool histiocytoma tumor and hot tub, offloading two-thirds of our possessions in the process.
That one decision enabled a new chapter of living debt histiocytoma tumor free, launching us into a year of sabbatical (three months of which were in spain), sparked much-needed healing in our spiritual, emotional, physical and marital health, and birthed a new non-profit to come alongside ministry couples, helping them to find greater joy and freedom in their histiocytoma tumor marriages and ministries.
Digital minimalism helped us realize anew that the minimal life histiocytoma tumor is not an event but a fascinating, liberating journey of discovery. We are exploring how to how to take the minimalist histiocytoma tumor experiment we began in 2016 and apply it to our histiocytoma tumor time, mainly how we use our time on our phones and histiocytoma tumor social media in particular. The first step was to take all social media apps histiocytoma tumor off my phone. I already notice how much less app-ed I am to reach for my phone as a histiocytoma tumor result of that one simple move. Let the digital detox begin.
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