Digital Minimalism in 2021 & Beyond - Seeking Balance or Just Attention?

Have had this on my mind for a while now, and often have my ears perk up at the mention of some components of it in my daily life. What are some of the better practices of digital minimalism these days? I am quite bad with timers on my smartphone, though I know I waste far too much time on Instagram or something mindlessly scrolling. I find projects like the Punkt MP02 or the Mudita Pure to be enticing. I have also recently been wanting to switch back to heavier useage of a private email (not just one that gets added to CVs and whatnot, just one for colleagues and interesting projects).

I have long been a fan of [Project Gemini](https://gemini.circumlunar.space/) and the idea of a more literate "smolweb" (if I enjoyed an internet similar to this once upon a time, why can't I enjoy it again?). I do, however, realize the limitations rather quickly. Covid-19 measures, for starters (here we require QR codes confirming vaccination, previous infection, or negative test, and just yesterday the laws are changing that more places require them). Additionally, a lot of online security (which I believe a lot can be figured out with classic SMS 2FA). I also work in the crypto industry, a strange industry where no one seems to be capable of imagining a personality that would _not_ want to be constantly downloading new apps and keeping up with the Nakamotos.

Personal tangant aside, I state all of this to illustrate my curiosity and interest in the digital minimalism shift, and am curious what the minds around these parts have to say about it. Any IRC-dwellers, RSS and mailing list fanatics, and others surfing here have any thoughts towards a more Intentional relationship to technology/the Web?

I love this idea and have been exploring thoughts about it myself.

Recently, I tried to minimalize my social media presence, which I've touched on in another thread here about why I sought out and eventually found places like this forum. I wanted to try to get back to a time where if I wanted to "surf the world wide web" I had to be in front of a computer to do it and forums like this take me back to a time where you couldn't just pull a super computer out of your pocket and look things up whenever you wanted.

And since, like the OP, timers and the like don't seem to work for me, I usually find that putting physical distance between myself and my phone helps with not being distracted by it. This includes leaving it plugged in across the room or house from me and leaving it away from my bed. Some days I'm more discliplined about this than others.

I like that Punkt MP02 phone, though. I've been thinking of ditching smart phones altogether and that does look like something I could get into. But every time I imagine a world without a smart phone I start to think of things I'd miss out on. As much as I don't rely on social media for communication, my friends all use discord and/or text messaging to talk to each other, and that'd be pretty difficult to keep up with them using only a PC or a non-smart phone.

Big fan of the elinks and lynx browsers. They're command line only and are a bit silly, but also it feels refreshing to experience a text only internet once in a while.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELinks
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynx_(web_browser)

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@“milo”#p47294 I wanted to try to get back to a time where if I wanted to “surf the world wide web” I had to be in front of a computer to do it and forums like this take me back to a time where you couldn’t just pull a super computer out of your pocket and look things up whenever you wanted.

Very much this for me, I really like this idea of connectivity, and the benefits of all the wonders of tech but not falling into the pitfall of constantly wanting to check my notifications etc. And, end of day, I am not sure if I am really learning or anything by being able to see so much stuff show up on my feed, even if I tell myself that I am haha.

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@“milo”#p47294 As much as I don’t rely on social media for communication, my friends all use discord and/or text messaging to talk to each other, and that’d be pretty difficult to keep up with them using only a PC or a non-smart phone.

This is a difficult one, though I predominately use Discord on my PC, it is nice to have that alternative with a mobile for direct communications - most minimalist phones right now shy away from these apps, by design, and I wonder what the compromise can be here one day

@“Syzygy”#p47301 I already enjoy where this is going - do you have a blog or anywhere where you have shared parts of that list of software? I am a sucker for looking at new tools like that - this BazQux is brilliant, I was thinking just this morning that RSS feeds really got a short end of a stick, I imagine you find this service worth the $30 a year to use it? And if you don't mind my asking, what kind of mobile device do you use, if any?

RIP google reader. That plus Listen podcast app was simplest, no nonsense combo for syncing between android phone and desktop web browser for me back then. I'm still on RSS train via Feedly daily tho.

Digital minimalism and minimalism in general greatly appeal to me. I like older game systems for this reason.

I like to either have the game‘s physical media in the system or have a simple no-fuss list of games to select a game from.

I don’t want a dashboard and stats, and online features and whatnot.

For a while I was trying to figure out how to get the best experience with the largest number of games while taking up very small amounts of space, but recently I've been thinking a smaller number of games might be more enjoyable too.
With whatever time I choose to give to gaming (not much) I'd like it to be spent actually playing games, instead of 'channel-surfing' them.

One thing I find challenging about trying to have be a minimalist and digital minimalist is that the two urges conflict a little. Often times the best 'digital minimalism' practice is to have well chosen dedicated devices for tasks, but that leads to having more rather than less stuff!

@“Geoff”#p47342 Agreed, it is tough to identify if a balance does exist between the two. Intentional Digitalism sometimes has be wanting single-purpose devices. An old pocket digital camera, a gumstick-sized mp3 player, a mobile phone for the lite communication (and defining lite communication gets muddled for me very quickly). This seems more complex than how things are now, but it also appeals to a side of me that perhaps yearns for the “simpler times” of dedicated devices.

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@“siebold_magnolia”#p47290 Additionally, a lot of online security (which I believe a lot can be figured out with classic SMS 2FA)

I may come back to add some thoughts on the topic at hand, but just dropping by this thread quickly to implore everyone: please do not use SMS-based 2FA, and if you are on the engineering side _please_ do not create anything using SMS-based 2FA. It isn't safe.
(_Absolutely_ use 2FA/MFA whereever and whenever you can. Just not via SMS)

@“rejj”#p47359 Thanks for the input, would love to hear your other thoughts too - but I have heard this before about SMS, you don't have to explain all of it yourself, but do you have any TL;DRs or a link for further reading about why SMS is so bad for 2FA?

@“siebold_magnolia”#p47414 the really short version of it is that SMS is not encrypted and networks are easy to spoof, plus it unfortunately is rather easy apply some social engineering and maliciously port someone’s SIM away from them, and then receive their SMS.