The Minimalist Movement Has Gone Digital

Minimalism or the Minimalist Movement are probably terms that you have heard before. In the past, the terms were often closely related to an art style or lifestyle popularized between the 1960s and 1970s. In a general sense, minimalism means taking a step back, reflecting on the most important elements of a given subject while greatly diminishing focus on all other elements. When it comes to the lifestyle, minimalists are therefore picky consumers and make less purchases than the average consumer.

Why Implement Minimalism

Although it can be hard work, implementing minimalism into our daily lives can help us identify what is most important and what is not. By decluttering our homes and lives we can also actually boost positive moods and concentration on the things we love most, all while reducing stress levels.

But as technology (and social media) becomes a growing aspect of our daily lives, we also need to adopt a new minimalistic strategy for our digital behavior. This is where Digital Minimalism comes to play - a term coined by computer scientist and blogger Cal Newport. As Cal Newport also states, the internet and it’s many social platforms create a constant background of stress and anxiety for many of us. By disconnecting from the majority of these sources, we can reduce the amount of anxiety mounting on us on a daily basis, that we may not even be aware of. Reducing the amount of time spent on social media also frees up more time and resources for us to commit to the people and activities we find most important.

According to Newport, Digital Minimalism is “a philosophy that helps you question what digital communication tools (and behaviors surrounding these tools) add the most value to your life. It is motivated by the belief that intentionally and aggressively clearing away low-value digital noise, and optimizing your use of the tools that really matter, can significantly improve your life.”

How To Adopt Digital Minimalism Into Your Daily Life

#1 Potential Value vs. Value Gained

    FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out, is a major concern that pushes people to use social media to the extreme. Having this outlook considers all potential value a certain social media platform or other technology offers without considering whether or not you will actually receive the value or not. There are an infinite amount of activities, on and offline, that can offer you immense value. But no one has the time or means to take advantage of each opportunity. Instead, focus on the activities that actually provide you with the most joy.

    #2 Reflect and Implement

      Speaking of focusing, decide which values are most important to you personally. Once you have selected them, spend more time on activities that bring you closer to reaching this value. After all, every single social media platform is created for a certain reason. It can be difficult to become a Digital Minimalist since each service online at least superficially offers you some kind of value. So, take a step back, reflect, and decide what is most important to you. Being creative? Connecting with others? Learning something new every day? Just focusing on one of these three principles can help you reduce the number of apps you use and websites you visit on a daily basis. Next, consider which platforms are the best for your personal guiding principal.  While there are many potential websites, only one can be the best.

      #3 Not a Replacement, Rather a Supplement

        Your online experience is not a replacement and should not become your “preferred reality.” The digital world is best served as a supplement to our real-life “natural world.” Use the internet to connect with people in your area who share a similar interest. Or, use social networks to inform yourself what kind of activities are happening near you.

        Wondering how this relates to you as a small business owner?

        Although Cal Newport intended this theory for personal social media use, it can be applied to a professional sense, albeit in a slightly different context.

        Just like we should carefully consider our social media use as individuals, we should critically evaluate our social media activities as brands and small business owners. Every post should serve a purpose - whether it be to inform or entertain. Don’t just post to fill a timeline or because your competition is online as well! Carefully considering each of your posts before you share them and what kind of value it will bring to your followers can actually improve your business’ image. A mindful and minimalist social media posting strategy can help make your company seem more aware of your followers’ time and interests.

        Although, it may seem a bit hypocritical - the DeVo Media team spends quite a bit of time on social media. However, we stay mindful of our consumption. Our social media exposure helps us to learn which strategies are most effective on individual platforms. This allowed us to practice intertwining Digital Minimalism in each of our client’s posting strategies over time. With a minimalism influenced strategy, we are able to create posts that share a valuable message and forge true connections with your followers all the while not taking away from your tech-free time or cluttering timelines.

        If you’re curious about Digital Minimalism or are interested in developing your own social media strategy inspired by Digital Minimalism, don’t hesitate to get in contact with the DeVo Media team: social@devo.media!