The spicy scents of pepernoten and speculaas hang in the streets of Groningen, meaning the winter break is slowly approaching. As the remaining leaves fall, students and staff are preparing for celebrations spent with family and friends, and visions of crisp forest walks and ample amounts of hearty meals make the commencement of the winter holidays highly anticipated. However, a sour thought lingers within many: what gifts can I give?
We contend to keep it simple: show your appreciation through uninterrupted attention and awareness. Switch off your devices and fully engage in the precious now.
However, that is easier said than done. The relationship we have to technology has certainly become too complicated for such a blanket statement to fully convince. Therefore, “Digital Minimalism” by Cal Newport is the perfect solution. Newport gives an overview of the original intentions behind our favorite devices, explaining how this has shifted toxically due to economic reasons, rendering us slaves to our screens, and making us susceptible to, as Newport puts it, solitude deprivation. He then proposes a step-by-step digital declutter which can ultimately empower the reader to spend his/her time more wisely.
“This is why clutter is dangerous. It’s easy to be seduced by the small amounts of profit offered by the latest app or service, but then forget its cost in terms of the important resource we possess: the minutes of our life.” (Newport, 2019)
What kind of gifts do you want to give (or hope to receive!) this Christmas?
Is simply being present one of them?
Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment by December 20th 2019 and we’ll send a copy of the book to two randomly selected people so they can read it over Christmas.