Digital Minimalism: Finding Balance In An Overly Connected World

How did we get to this point? I can’t help but wonder if I’m the only one feeling overwhelmed by the constant connection the internet brings. I remember when being online was really fun, but then I realized that was two decades ago. Now, I just I feel like escaping and living off-grid to reset my mind is an ideal thing to try. Maybe I just need to shut down all the noise for a few days and try a digital minimalist approach.

I crave the simplicity of being offline without the lure of the internet, but who am I kidding? That’s impossible because my livelihood depends on it. Without the internet, I’d be damned.

Photo by Dory – Vitamin Sea – La Union – Philippines

There’s no denying the benefits of the internet, and I do enjoy learning new software tools (or apps, as what most people call it nowadays) and keeping up with the latest tech buzz. However, it also has its downsides. If you’re not careful, you can end up wasting hours glued to your screen, wondering why you haven’t been productive. Well, that’s been my reality nowadays, and it’s not something I’m proud to admit.

Why Become a Digital Minimalist?

After spending years mostly online, I’ve realized that my negative feelings about the internet stem from being overconnected. Here are some of them..

  • It’s hard to focus on one thing for a long time. Before the internet, I loved reading long novels. Now, with more to do and less time, my smartphone keeps me constantly checking and scrolling, even when there’s nothing new.

  • It makes me feel pressured to respond quickly and stay updated, which causes me to be stressed and anxious.

  • Too much screen time, especially before bed, messes up my sleep patterns and quality. To be honest, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve tried to reset my body clock.

  • It messes up my workflow and makes me less productive overall. Yeah, duh!

  • It is harder to connect with others in person and have meaningful conversations and I’m so guilty of it. 

  • It can sometimes make me feel inadequate, lonely, and depressed. I can’t help but sometimes compare my life with others. I have thoughts like, “why do they have such perfect lives and I don’t?” 

  • My eyes can get tired, and make me sit around too much, which totally isn’t good for my health. 

  • I get paranoid when I reveal too much on my social media pages. I get paranoid that my data might be stolen, I might be attacked online, or my personal information might be exposed.

  • There are moments when I feel bombarded with too much information that I consume and it makes it hard for me to think clearly and remember important things.

  • I stopped craving being creative because I’m always being stimulated by my devices. 

I can’t blame everything on the internet, but I do think it has a huge impact on my life, as well as on everyone else’s. It’s one of the factors that affect me. Whether you enjoy using the internet or not, finding the right balance is essential. That’s why I strive to be a digital minimalist to have a sense of control over my life.

I recently started minimizing the use of my phone. Now, I only use it for online groceries, online banking when I’m at home, and transportation bookings when I’m out. I try to leave my phone on my work desk at bedtime (I work from home) and allow myself to naturally fall asleep after reading a book. I do feel a little better doing those things and I’m determined to continue doing it. 

The Bottomline

I’m currently on a journey to balance my online life, centered around work, with my offline life. The internet is actually neutral, neither entirely good nor bad. At the end of the day, it all comes down to how you use it. It should be a tool to help us, not something that controls our daily lives.

Did you also feel the negative effects from constantly being online? Welcome to the club!

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