Things that add value to your life
It’s an aesthetic, a vibe, a mindset that I swear by. The rule — seemingly simple, the comprehension?
There are ’n’ number of ways that you can add value to your life, buying everything you need, in the hope that one day it might be useful to you. Refuel on caffeine, energy drinks staying up late night. Start fasting for days, weeks give up, get back to the same old binging habits & then call it ‘minimalism’. It’s a fairly subjective topic & everyone has their own consensus. I find it really amusing, it’s sort of become a ‘meme’ at this point.
This post talks about minimalism in detail; the ways I implement minimalism & what it really means to me. General lifestyle advice, nearly everything I’ve found perfect so far. That’s how I define my consensus.
I don’t use 👏 every 👏 single 👏app👏 ~ on my phone
No Instagram!, no Snapchat, not eVen tHe kEwL oNeS like Discord & Reddit huh I prolly don’t use any mainstream-app on my phone, yes you heard it right.
Ew! what do you do on your phone?
Time to rant like a boomer already! Sure, you could scroll past all this text, but I’d advise - if you’re gonna use these apps, you’ll eventually grow to hate it. I betchya, in the years to come you’ll regret signing up for these addictive dis-services. The sooner you realize it, the better. I got my enlightenment moment just before 10th grade or so (16ish).
I’m not going back to those apps, for other reasons
No, not the classic boomer rant; ‘oH nO iT’s a wAsTe oF tIme’. I don’t use it because its proprietary software. Not because its distracting; that’s a side effect, a manifestation of the unjust power the developer has over you via that software, using that as an excuse is cringe. Dig down the rabbit hole in the world of free/libre software to know what I mean ~ read my blog post on this.
Phones suck tho
I charge my phone - ‘twice or thrice a week’. Consoooom news using RSS feeds via the terminal. I keep all folders & files clean, bookmarks in order, a huge list of websites that I found useful, but isn’t worthy of my time right now.
If you haven’t already read I only use Free/Libre software (FOSS) apps whenever I can. To crank out the best of my resources. I don’t want my phone to be pinging Google, Xiaomi, or Apple, wasting precious bandwidth and battery life. The argument may seems absurd; but it eventually adds up, to a year’s worth of Li-ion Battery degradation. After I switched to a custom ROM on my Xiaomi Phone. Look at the battery stats.
I Use FOSS apps that generally don’t have bad anti-user behavior. Digital Minimalism is a key part of my life now - at least 4 years later.. I’ve learnt it the hard way, I used to enjoy my time on all these platforms, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Google, YouTube, Spotify, you name it! Every single proprietary app. I signed up for, the day I turned 13 (2017 ~ 4 years ago) I think I was the first to get Spotify in my class. I used it over a VPN, (before Spotify launched in India) it felt so ‘kewl’ back in the day.
Drink the Kool-Aid 😮💨
You quickly grow to realize that it isn’t helping you much. Sure, I miss what my old-followers are up to, the schools they’re in, parties they attend or what they’re listening to. But how does that help me with what I am doing today? Read more on the previous blog post “You are What You Eat” I hope you can start treating yourself better, cook-up a better ‘digital-diet’ today - stop poisoning your life 😶🌫️
Of course emails! ~ Inbox zero
Shame shame shame shame shame! I’ve seen people’ inboxes with 10k unread emails. Rather not get into that topic, here’s a photo to show what my inbox looks like. Gah!! I can hear it already - I follow this method for messaging apps too - like Telegram, Element [Matrix], Signal, whatever is reasonable and FOSS.
I deleted my Google account too out of privacy reasons, so now it’s an offline first world for storing photos, calendars, cloud storage and all that jazz that I thought I needed. Obviously you can’t do this all in one day - Cold Turkey. It’s a pain. As I said, it took many months to tweak and curate my workflow and the apps I use and how I work right now. Pay heed to my advise, get over that ‘consooooming’, ‘materialistic’, ‘socially frenzy phase’ in your early teens.
By age 15 or 16 slowly wear out the drugs that have numbed you, use this chance you’ve probably got bored trying Instagram, twiddling your thumbs past that never ending feed
For web-browsing I use SponsorBlock & uBlock Origin, so faster page loads, no distractions like the average internet user would have to face. It’s saved so many hours of my life. Yours too, assuming the average reader of my blog uses uBlock Origin. If you don’t I highly suggest you do. Enough digital minimalism, let’s talk IRL minimalism and how I apply it in the real world.
I love comfy, matte-black ‘V’ neck cotton t-shirts. A pair of rugged jeans suited for Bangalore weather, does the job. Oh! There’s also the cute zucc outfit, uwu. To feel like a lizard humanoid 🦎 wearing the same grey t-shirt every single day. Black is way better tho; better contrast. P.S. it helps you look more photogenic.
Speaking of photos, I hate selfies. I don’t use the front camera. Like ever! If I wish to take a selfie, I’d rather hook my phone to a selfie stick, start a timer & use better rear camera to take a photo. I usually don’t feature myself in photos, keep things low-key. I love ’taking photos’ instead, of other people most of the time. People are always happy, I love capturing that moment, or help be a part of that. Some people are polar opposites.
They thirst for all the attention, paint themselves as the perfect person.. you know the drill. I couldn’t care less, I’m not that interested in fashion design or the latest trends at least for my sake - I dress for myself. A clean, comfy monotonous outfit is all I ask. That’s what adds value to my life.
I like having the least dependencies as possible. Use what you only ‘really need’, quite like the digital world, you’ll find my backpack, table or books neatly arranged & should I need older books I can quickly index where I’ve stored them. I know where I’ve kept my things at the back of my head. This is much simpler than buying bookshelves and trunks worth of storage space and only to realize that it’s been collecting dust all these years and you’ve probably forgotten that you had it in the first place.
If you find me at a desk, its quite likely I have earphones plugged in, should it be a busy / noise room. Left alone to my self - trying to do some work. Either its editing videos & producing music, underling lines in my NCERT course book or scratching my head solving problems. No other kind of distractions, that’s what I love about minimalism and this lifestyle. It gets you into the groove, no physical distractions in front of you. I suppose it’s grown into me, early. After tasting what the future felt like..
The only time you’d buckle or slack is when you’re in a different environment / study zone & vice-versa
Optimize time for the specific environment, don’t mix the two. The line between the two is vague & blurry. If you try to multi-task / mix the two it’s like drowning in quicksand. All your effort is used against you. Work hard & play hard. Don’t commit the sin of a giving your 50% effort in the wrong environment. By environment I mean your desk, your dining table, your classroom in school. Sometimes it can help you improve your productivity, try switching environments if things feel too saturated.
I learnt this from my dog - Diesel. When he wants to go out for a walk - he gets it done - at any cost, he barks & barks; never gives up, waits for the sound of my footsteps, wags his tail as he stretches his quarter inch claws into his warm, mushy cardboard dog-bed. He hears someone, probably Megan or me. Decides that he wants to get out of the house and when he gets back to his comfy sleeping place, he goes back to sleep, it’s a primal biological response, his bed is not a place to pee, or to dirty, and its time to sleep.
When he’s sitting in the living room, he is never bothered about sleep, he wants to look out the window and enjoy his time.
Okay, we aren’t all doggos
But there’s a lot to learn from animals and general biology that we can apply in minimalism. To emulate nature. That’s my next point. ->
Minimalism helps reduce waste, pollution & generally feel less guilty about my purchases contributing to global warming. It eases the load on landfills or the whole chain of the leaky waste management cycle, rather not contribute waste than trust society handles waste in the best way for recycling. Should I throw away the thing I bought. Otherwise I plan to use it as long as it works. I want to get 5/6 years out of my phone.
If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it
Thinking this way - also helps me build an inventory of items that I need. Utilize building a clean self-sustainable house powered by solar energy & all that jazz. Off-grid is like a long term goal - I’m a big believer in great utilized spaces using natural resources. If you haven’t read it already - it’s something I want to tick off my bucketlist. Also repair stuff whenever you can. Most things are easily repairable. Clocks, TV remotes, the springs inside switches or children’s play toys.
At the same time you’ll find people who want to go to Starbucks every day, take Instagram photos of their ‘XYZ grande’ & love to live that way. This is obviously materialism and not minimalism. I find it quite annoying. Doing it for clout, social validation or numb their impulses. This is not normal. It’s sort of like being scared than actually enjoying life. Wish them luck.
Over the course of your journey, you’d feel you want to go back to the old ways. I took it slow, I didn’t know what it’ll look like after 2 years as I said, no one really cares about your lifestyle, everyone’s self centered. Should you choose minimalism in the way I define it or not. It’s finally up to you - not what others think (although I’d like to know 🤔 cool tips you find along the way) feel free to DM. Your life is an experiment, have fun with it.
Structure, plan your goals according to the environment don’t bother in multi-tasking when you clearly know it’s dangerous. As a general rule of thumb. Weigh things with a neutral bias-free mind. You can’t have every single thing in the world at the same time. More and more things don’t equal a happier and better life. At the same time you don’t need to live naked, sleep on the floor and eat ramen all week long 🍝
Have you heard the saying - There’s a reason behind everything?
Being based? - ‘A memey way of implying clear reasoning behind your choices; not being cringy & riding the hype-wave’
If you’d ask my why I use this app over the other, this way of writing over the other? GNU/Linux over Windows? I’d link it to minimalism & optimizing my resources. There’s always a root to minimalism in my daily workflows. Why use fediverse over Twitter / Instagram? Normal watches over Smartwatches? Vim over Emacs? (ok please don’t ask the last one :P)