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Notes on a Nervous Planet

Updated: Mar 10, 2021

Looking for another digital minimalism book to add to your toolbox? Look no further! Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig is timely, witty, and oh so enlightening. While Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport gives tactical advice and a step by step plan on decluttering your life, Notes on a Nervous Planet gives you insight into the actual impact social media and technology devices have on our mental health.

Matt Haig is relatable and opens up about his own mental health struggles with anxiety and panic attacks. I listened to the audio of Notes on a Nervous Planet and found myself laughing and shaking my head in agreement with Matt. He breaks down the outright silliness of our technology addiction in such a way that forces you to self reflect on what you prioritize in your life.

What did I learn from reading Notes on a Nervous Planet?

Feeling overwhelmed? Put the phone down.

Feeling sad/anxious/depressed? Put the phone down.

Feel lonely? Put the phone down.

Feel tired/hungry/stressed? Put the phone down.


Technology, especially social media, has consumed our lives. We are frequently searching for validation on these platforms whose intent is to create a consumer out of us and make us feel worse about ourselves. Think about it, what makes you feel better: getting likes on your Instagram post or going for a 60 minute hike in a beautiful wooded area with the sun shining down on you and wildlife chittering away? I guarantee that hike makes you feel 100x better than that vapid social media validation. Matt Haig makes you reflect on your technology usage and come to terms with it's effect on your life. He encourages you to put the phone away, set your gaze ahead, and live your life untethered. Which I am ALL for.

I highly recommend the audio, but also purchasing a copy for your bookshelves. This is one of those books where I know I will come back to in the future.

Favorite Quotes:

"Reading isn't important because it helps to get you a job. It’s important because it gives you room to exist beyond the reality you’re given. It is how humans merge. How minds connect. Dreams. Empathy. Understanding. Escape. Reading is love in action.”

“Remember no one really cares what you look like. They care what they look like. You are the only person in the world to have worried about your face.”

“We often find ourselves wishing for more hours in the day, but that wouldn't help anything. The problem, clearly, isn't that we have a shortage of time. It's more that we have an overload of everything else.”

“Living with anxiety, turning up, and doing stuff with anxiety takes a strength most people will never know.”

Curious about my digital detox journey? Click here to see how my 30-day Digital Declutter went and learn more about setting technology boundaries.

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