Cal Newport, a Georgetown professor, has written Digital Minimalism and several other thoughtful, best-selling books.
Following up on our 21-day fast from electronics, I started reading Digital Minimalism. I learned quite a few things about these devices. I have not finished reading the book, so I can only give you a short review.
Suffice it to say that the stats about our usage of these devices have alarmed me. Did you know that, on average, people reach for their smartphones 85 times a day? What would happen if we prayed/memorized Scripture/memorized math facts/studied spelling words/practiced violin/you name it 85 times a day?
Did you know that eye contact matters? Children have 30% less eye contact with other humans now than before smartphones came into existence. Psychologists warn that human interactions are deteriorating.
And on and on. For instance, this book will tell you the story of how the iPhone got invented as “an iPod that can make calls.” That’s all it was supposed to do: save you from having to carry around two devices, one to call and one to play music on.
The inventor of the iPhone (not Steve Jobs, look it up!) declared once that he still wakes up in a sweat at night from the terror of the guilt he feels for starting the world on the path toward smartphones.
Cal Newport proposes a 30-day program with very little to no technology and gives you exactly what you need to do through each step. He has documented his proposals with research. Fascinating.
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That book was such a good read. Cal Newport is so inspiring in his commitment to productivity and creativity, and his research and insight into the wise handling of tech tools is so relevant for intentional living. I love your question: what if we did pray 85 times a day? Or meditate on scripture? Let’s encourage one another to redeem the time we are given.