I’ve been having a lot of feedback from my appearance on YOUROPE and I would like to thank everyone for the kind words, particular Tilman Favier who started writing a blog shortly after the programme. He’s just getting started out but his thoughts are profound and I urge everyone to check out his blog and see what he’s been getting up to!
I’ve had a lot of readers sending me emails asking me:
“Do you feel you’re being true to minimalism by owning a laptop?”
This question seems to be asked many times over from friends, family members and my readers here so I feel that it’s necessary to give you an insight into what I believe; although I fear a lot of you will reject it anyway but just hear me out…
I’ve compiled a list of 10 reasons why I justify owning a laptop. I am not about eliminating every physical possession from my life; a common misunderstanding from some. My 10 reasons are:
1) University work. I use my laptop to complete my university work and without the ability to write my reports and essays on the move it would greatly reduce the amount of travelling I can do – you’d be surprised how much work one can get done on a train!
2) Calendar. There’s no need to have buy physical calendars anymore as I can happily store all of my appointments on Google calendar which I find more efficient as the reminders do a better job than I do at making sure I look at calendar. It saves money too!
3) Reading. I do a lot of reading (largely academic journals) but occasionally I will make use of kindle e-books – particularly the classics which are free! Saves printing meaning that it’s better for the environment and your filing cabinet!
4) Phone calls. Skype is a fantastic way of ensuring that those long distant friendships survive as international phone calls can be very expensive on your regular landline phone but with Skype you can call anyone for free (providing they are signed in, of course). They also allow you to call 0800 numbers for free (like your landline) so it allows you to eliminate having a landline phone!
5) Movies. I love to enjoy watching movies like everyone else but as mentioned before I hated having hundreds of dvds pilling up around me spoiling the tranquillity of my bedroom. Digital files are much easy to manage and buying them online allows you to get them almost instantly and they allow me to watch them anywhere I like without having to drag them with me!
6) Music. The same principle applies to music but usually physical CDs almost never get used compared to DVDs. It’s a lot easier to manage when they are kept on my laptop and they don’t damage in the same way that physical CDs do.
7) Tv. I rarely watch TV but in the event when something is on I can stream it online without having to own a TV. My laptop speakers cater for me and maybe one other quite well. No need to own that gaudy box and several remote controls anymore!
8) Learning. The internet is a fantastic learning tool and the huge amount of content on the web can give you hours of entertainment. I tend to get addicted to scrolling through Wikipedia pages about history, science and philosophy which empowers me to search for reading material that goes into greater depth. I would also recommend TEDtalks if you’re seeking inspirational speeches on how to tackle current global issues.
9) Blogging. I get an enormous joy out of writing to you, my readers, on this blog and I hope to continue inspiring those who are willing to listen to what I have to say. The feedback I’ve had, thus far, has made me incredibly happy and without this blog I would never have been featured on TV!
10) Connecting with people. I’ve saved the most important factor until last and I believe that allowing us to connect with each other is priceless. Not only do we get immediate gratification from speaking to our current friends but we are also able to communicate to the wider world that can affect positive change in all of us.
So there we have it. I should probably point out that whilst I have transferred a lot of my ‘physical clutter’ into ‘digital clutter’ I do try and make sure that I only have what I need and gone are the days where I would keep almost every single text file and song, despite me never actually reading/listening to them.
Simply put it: my life would not be as fun without my laptop. I’m okay with saying that and I don’t believe that it goes against what minimalism means to me. I’ve made the distinction between need and want and you’ve got to have some fun in life! If you want a good read on what minimalism is NOT about I urge you to check out Niall Doherty’s insightful post on ‘Disrupting the Rabblement’.