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?
N different 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. Randing from general lifestyle-advice, to nearly everything I’ve found perfect so far and how I’ve reached this consensus.
I don’t use 👏 every 👏 single 👏app👏 ~ on my phone
No Instagram!, no Snapchat, not eVen tHe kEwL oNeS like Discord or Reddit, huh??. I probably don’t use any mainstream-app on my phone like everyone does. Yes you’ve heard that right. No YouTube, PlayStore either. Not even a real-web-browser. I use the DuckDuckGo browser which is essentially a Chromium Webview-wrapper.
Ew! what do you do on your phone?
Time to rant like a boomer already! I’d advise — if you’re going to use these apps, you will eventually grow to hate it. I bet in the years to come you’ll regret signing up for these addictive dis-services; the sooner you realize it, the better. I got this ’enlightenment’ moment just before: 10th grade began.
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 it.
Cell-phones suck. I avoid using my phone. I made up a rule for myself — I can only charge my phone: 2-3 times a week. I consoom news via RSS feeds in the terminal. I keep all folders & files clean, bookmarks in order, I have a huge collection of websites that I’ve found useful, but isn’t worthy of my time right now – a bucketlist!
Here’s the detailed blog post. I only use Free/Libre software (FOSS) if that rings a bell. To crank the best out 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 had to learn it the hard-way; I, like the average person used all of these apps. Spending hours of 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 or so (2017 ~ 4 years ago). I think I was the first to get Spotify in my class, you needed a VPN to signup. P.S. (before Spotify officially 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, consume a better ‘digital-diet’ today – stop intoxinating your life 😶🌫️
I’ve seen people with inboxes rotting with 10k unread emails. I’d rather not get into that topic, I’ve had the same experience when I was using my gmail account! Here’s a photo to show what my (current) inbox—looks like.
Gah! I can hear it already, yes I follow this method for messaging apps too: I now use Telegram, Element [Matrix], Signal, whatever is reasonable and FOSS. I use disappearing messages by-default.
I deleted my Google account too! Primarily for: 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 24/7. Obviously you can’t do this all in one day going 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 and a pair of rugged jeans
suited for Bangalore weather: does the job. Oh! don’t forget the cute zucc
UwU. It feels great walking around like a lizard~humanoid 🦎 wearing the same
grey t-shirt every single day. Black is way better though!
Speaking of photos: I hate selfies—specifically: taking them. One, I use gcam, and there’s no way I’m going to use the front camera – like ever! If I wish to take a selfie, I’d hook my phone to a selfie stick, start a timer & use better rear camera to take a photo, or prop my phone against a stand/desk. I usually don’t feature myself in photos: I love ’taking photos’ instead. People are always happy, I love capturing that moment.
Some people are polar-opposites. They thirst for all the attention, paint themselves as the perfect person, I’ve seen many occasions in middle-school when people would hang-out just so that — they could be tagged in an Instagram story. Going to malls just to roam around and go window-shopping! I couldn’t care less — I’m not that interested in fashion design or the latest trends in clothing.
I dress for myself. A clean, comfy monotonous outfit is all I ask. That’s what adds value to my life. Don’t get me wrong: I have extra clothing tucked away for parties and family-functions, but I don’t bother to decide what I’m going to wear on a day-to-day basis.
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 sinks his quarter-inch claws into the warm, mushy cardboard dog-bed. He hears someone, probably my sister or me. Decides that he wants to get out of the house; 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, to dirty it’s only for sleeping!
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: helps me build an inventory of items that I need (in my head). 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. Something I want to tick off my bucketlist. Try repair things whenever-you-can. Most things are easily repairable. Clocks, TV remotes, springs inside-switches or children’s play toys.
At the same time you’ll find people who hang out at Starbucks every day, take Instagram photos of their grande, posting Pinterest basic quotes. Obviously this is materialism; not minimalism. I find it quite annoying, living like this for-clout, social validation in-order to numb their consumeristic-impulses.
This is not normal, even though social-media paints a different picture. 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: no one really cares about your lifestyle, everyone’s self-centred.
Should you have minimalism in the way I define it or not — that’s up to you. Your life is an experiment, have fun with it! But don’t associate minimalism with what it’s not–consumerism & mindless-consumption.
Structure your days; try pairing goals according to the environment you’re in. Don’t bother multi-tasking. 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 consuming doesn’t equal a happier, fulfilling life. At the same time you don’t need to live naked and sleep on the floor and eat-ramen all week long 🍝
“There’s a reason behind everything?
Have you heard the saying: Being
If you’d ask my why I use this app over the other, GNU/Linux over Windows? I’d link it to minimalism & optimizing my resources. There’s always a root back to minimalism in my daily workflow. Why use fediverse over Twitter / Instagram? Wear simple, normal watches over smart-watches? Currently one word comes to my mind ~ minimalism!
vim over emacs? (ok please don’t email be about that last one :P)