Oscar Franco

On minimalism

August 2021

I’m a big fan of minimalism both in physical and electronic life.

It took me almost a year and a half to buy a bed. My apartment consists of: A bed with underside drawers for clothes, a book shelf with some storage space, a desk with a monitor and a guitar. Everything else is just smaller stuff one needs on a day to day basis: cutlery, pans, bathroom cleaning products, etc.

I never planned for this though, it just manifested itself after I moved to Germany (and moved out of my mom’s). It’s also not a struggle to keep it up, I do buy some things often to try them out, but once I tried them and I realize I don’t really need them/use them, I give them away. For example: I bought a scale, because I want to loose some weight, but I do so seldom check my weight that I don’t actually need it, so it’s the next thing to go away.

Tied to this is minimalism on my electronic life, which is maybe even bigger than my physical one. I don’t get why people set up home servers, NAS, gigabit ethernet connections, home cinemas, etc. I do get VPNs because of the dystopia our modern internet is, but everything else baffles me. Let me give you some examples.

I have a dropbox account, were I put some paperwork that I sometimes need to access urgently, this takes like 2 mb. I don’t have a TV, but I do have netflix (mostly for the family), maybe I watch a movie every couple of weeks, a lot of times I just have it as background noise playing HIMYM on repeat (and to practice my German). I have an ad-blocker on my browser (and on my mobile I use the web apps saved as PWAs). I’ll do admit that I’m somewhat invested in apple and there are a few outliers like Google Maps which without I would have gotten lost too many times.

But it also applies to some other stuff which I also find baffling on other people… setting up a new computer is a herculean task for some, e.g. my Boss doesn’t want to switch his 7 year old laptop because he doesn’t want to set up a new machine… why? how? setting up a new machine takes me 2 to 3 hours… TOPS; install a bunch of apps via brew… copy my old .zshrc file and my personal bin folder… done.

The last thing I’m considering is getting rid of my smartphone, there are a couple of reasons my usage changed in the last months:

Specially because I got rid of social media apps (with the exception of twitter which I’m trying to grow), I realized how much I pulled my phone when talking with other people… just because social anxiety, and without social media a smart phone is pretty fucking boring and useless (google maps and twitter not withstanding)… turns out I might even get by without one.

Still toying with the idea, might be a good next step in my journey through minimalism.