400: How to Reclaim Conversation, with Cal Newport
Published March 18, 2019
34 min
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    Cal Newport: Digital Minimalism
    Cal Newport is a computer science professor at Georgetown University who studies the theory of distributed systems. In addition to his academic work, he writes about the intersection of technology and culture. He’s the author of six books including Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World and Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World.
    Key Points

    The human brain is very sophisticated in how it navigates social dynamics using voice and visual cues. Digital interactions bypass the brain’s ability to see these cues.
    Social media interactions might make you think you’re being social, but you can still lonely because your brain doesn’t count these interactions the same as person-to-person interactions.
    Digital interactions are not bad, but they can crowd out more important real-world interactions.
    Make sure tech is serving the things that are important in your life, rather than just using it as an escape from your life.
    Small steps tend not to work when transitioning to digital minimalism. A better way is to take a 30-day break from consuming digital content and then rebuild your digital life from scratch.

    Resources Mentioned

    Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World* by Cal Newport
    Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age* by Sherry Turkle
    Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other* by Sherry Turkle

    Book Notes
    Download my highlights from Digital Minimalism in PDF format (free membership required).
    Related Episodes

    How to Make Deep Work Happen, with Cal Newport
    The Power of Solitude, with Mike Erwin
    Have Conversations That Matter, with Celeste Headlee
    How to Create Meaningful Gatherings, with Priya Parker

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