Digital Discipline - By Håvard Mela ( Book Review #2 )

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This book can be found on Amazon right here (aff link)

You like books about avoiding supernormal stimuli, like porn, too much social media, video games etc.?

Well, if so, today's video is a must watch for you.

Today I'm going to be reviewing a new book called "Digital Discipline - Choosing Life in the Digital Age of Excess". Written by Håvard Mela.

Let's get to it...

Digital Discipline: Choosing Life in the Digital Age of Excess - By Håvard Mela 

Scandinavian Bob here, hi.

Alright it’s time for book number 2 in my book review series and today we are going to take a look at the book, Digital Discipline - Choosing Life in the Digital Age of Excess, a new book written by Håvard Mela.

Håvard is an author, high performance coach and electrical engineer and to use his own words from his website, he says he is “Just a guy who loves to write and share insights from his path to living a better life.”

Alright so, I’m not even going to wait a bit before I share my opinion on this book and so right from the start I have to say, I really, really like this book. 

This book is for pretty much anyone who lives in today's modern world...

This book is going to be highly relevant for, well, pretty much everyone living in today’s modern world.

Now, if you by looking at the title somehow got the idea that this book is all about never usinging your digital devices again, and that the author somehow preaces total digital abstinence, you are wrong, and this is the first thing that makes this book so great.

You see, Håvard distinguishes between something he calls “Passive digital use” and “Digital discipline” and that  most of us would do better if we could drastically reduce the amount of passive digital use. 

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Passive digital use can rob us of joy and happiness...

And I’ll give you an example of that in just a second, but the reason for this is that Håvard believes that too much passive digital use can rob us of drive and motivation and also that it comes at the expense of forming relationships in the real world, and ultimately it can undermine our joy and happiness in life.

And I 100% agree with Håvard here, of course.

I personally agree wit Håvard, 100%...

Because that’s exactly what too much aimless dopamine driven digital use can do to us. In fact, the book is divided into two parts and in part one Håvard goes into great detail about why passive digital use is so bad for us, how it can affect us and how the science behind why that is. 

He talks a lot about the dopamine system and how important it is for pretty much every aspect of our lives to not let it get desensitized and hijacked by cheap dopamine like for example endless social media scrolling and binging on porn.

What does digital discipline vs passive digital use look like?

And so now some of you say, “But what does passive vs disciplined use look like?” 

Well, Håvard says that Digital Discipline mens that we should have a purpose with why we go online, and then do that thing without getting distracted and start wandering off and start aimlessly following a social media feed for an hour or two.

 It is the ‘getting the distracted part’ and aimlessness that is passive digital use. 

In other words, we should use the digital word in a way that serves a purpose for us in a productive or a meaningful way.  

Now, that does not mean that entertainment in and of itself has to be classified as passive use… 

Digital entertainment can be OK, if done with intention...

For example, watching a few comic videos somewhere online can still be very healthy use if you find it fun and avoid overindulging or watching a video lecture or something like that.

But if you then get distracted and start clicking on the next recommended video on YouTube and then you suddenly find yourself wasting hours on that, having wondered completely of your intended goal, well then you're definitely engaging in passive use.

Are you using your digital device or is your device using you?

So, I guess you could ask yourself, “Are you using your device or is your device using you?” 

Here’s a good example and quote from the book…

“For some people, having a digital dating profile may be beneficial if they use it proactively to reach a specific goal. For others, it can be damaging if they scroll the platform for hours and stare at bikini photos rather than trying to set up dates. We should strive to cut off all digital habits and uses where the drawbacks outweigh the benefits”

Yeah and I could not agree with Håvard more and I think all of my long term subscribers understand exactly why that is.

Part two is more "how to focused"...

And this book keeps getting better and better because in part two of the book Håvard will show you how you can implement behavior change into your life and HOW to build this digital discipline.

So the second part of the book is a bit more “how to” focused, where he also gives you a lot of practical tips, advice and tools,  which is great.

But don’t get me wrong here, there is still plenty of interesting science about the brain, dopamine, serotonin and why we do what we do and things like that in part 2 as well. 

And not just that, Håvard also talks about happiness, Joy and finding purpose in life. 

Plenty of high quality exercises included in the book...

At the end of each chapter Håvard also includes some exercises for you to do, and I like these very much because they do a great job of increasing your awareness of, for example, your digital habits. 

Yes, you will for sure get a lot of Aha-moments here, I can promise you that.

And increased awareness in and of itself will also make it easier for you to change your digital habits as well.

The book is built on scientific facts...

Håvard does a great job with laying out the science. He is an excellent writer and he writes in a way that makes you think and really has an effect on you. 

The second part of the book will really make you understand, and not just understand but also feel on a deeper level how precious your time is and you will actually get a strong urge to stop wasting it, which is great of course. 

Throughout the whole book, perhaps a bit more in the first part, Håvard also shares his own story about his past struggles with all of this and he openly tells you about how it affected him.

This adds even more debt to the book and no matter from what perspective I look at this, it just works really, really well.

Rating: 9.5 / 10

All in all I’m going to give this book a strong 9.5 out of 10.

Yes, I highly recommend this book to everyone. It will both serve as motivation and as a teacher on how you can create and cultivate digital discipline and, as the title says, start choosing life in the digital age of excess. 

You can find links to the book under the video.

And you may perhaps recognize Håvard's name from before, a couple of years ago I did a review on his first book called “How To Thrive in The 21st Century: By Avoiding Porn And Other Distractions” which is also a great book that I highly recommend. 

If you’re interested in taking a look at that book review you can find it right here. 

This is Scandinavian Bob signing out for today, consider subscribing for more book reviews and I’ll see you in the next one.

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