Digital Minimalism

We live in an age of digital overload.

It is a paradox of the digital age in which we live that the more we are connected, the less we are connected.

no smartphone, no

Minimalism is the art of knowing how much is just enough. Digital minimalism applies this idea to our personal technology. It’s the key to living a focused life in an increasingly noisy world.

Cal Newport has written a book entitled “Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

Here are some of his ideas of how we can focus in this noisy social media world:

Digital Minimalism:

– Spend time alone to gain solitude
– Leave your phone at home
– Take long walks
– Write letters to yourself (journaling)

– Don’t click “likes”
– Avoid falling into the slot machine feedback loop of likes
– Consolidate texting
– hold conversation office hours
– Reclaiming conversations

– Reclaim Leisure
– prioritize demanding leisure activity over pass consumption
– use skills to produce valuable things in the physical world
– seek leisure activities with real world, structured social interactions
– fix, or build something every week
– schedule low quality leisure
– join something (e.g. a community)
– follow leisure plan

– Join the attention resistance
– delete social media from your phone
– turn your devices into single-purpose computers
– embrace slow media
– dumb down your smart phone (before it dumbs down you!)

Here is a podcast of Cal Newport talking to Rich Roll: Digital Minimalism with Cal Newport | Rich Roll Podcast

This is an interesting video about digital minimalism : digital minimalism clip

How to get likes on Instagram

How do you get likes on Instagram?
The truth is I don’t know.
I’ve been playing around posting different images, selecting a variety of hashtags, to see what effect these make.

Instagram likes
My Instagram

I have 141 followers, which isn’t many. Before I started looking at optimising my posts, each post would get around 5 to 10 likes. WikiHow suggests 7 ways to get more likes on Instagram WikiHow articleWikiHow article.

    1. use hashtags
      “Hashtags help you to get discovered by other users and your photos are more likely to get liked. Using a lot of hashtags increases the likelihood that your photos will be viewed and shared. ”
      Of my recent posts this picture has got more likes and comments than others:
      sleeping dogs
      It is a cute picture, if I post animals they seem to get more likes than other photos. These sleeping dogs I came across on the steps of Nikortsminda church in Racha in 2016. I like the way the father has a protective leg over his pup, to prevent the pup from wandering off. The hashtags I used with this were :
      #dog this seemed an obvious tag, and joins 233,120,603 posts with the same tag, the top post when I looked was of a sleeping corgi… which used the following tags: #corgifuriends #corgi #corgiaddict #corgicommunity #corgifeed #corgilife #corgilove #corgination #corgipuppy #corgis #corgisofinstagram #dog #dogs_of_instagram #dogsofinstagram #instacorgi #puppy #puppylove #welshcorgi
      #sleepingdogs a more defined description, this has a mere 205,591 posts
      #familiesneedfathers this was a strange tag, just 829 posts, I thought the protection the dog is giving to his pup illustrates the theme, but I realise most of the pictures using this tag are more political, related to fathers separated from their children usually as the result of a divorce
      #summeringeorgia I have used this a lot, it is summer and I am in Georgia. Georgians are trying to promote their country as a tourist destination, particularly in the light of the recent Russian boycott, which has seen tourist revenues dip.
      #puppy puppy, another obvious and popular tag (118,293,948 posts)
      #racha racha, this is the Georgian region where the photo was taken (96,019 posts)
      #straydogs these dogs have no collars, so could be strays (133,297 posts)
      #nikortsminda nikortsminda (761 posts)If you search the tags with fewer posts (#familiesneedfathers and #nikortsminda) my picture of the sleeping dogs is still prominent, with the more popular tags it has long since been buried under an avalanche of more recent posts.
      Use as many hashtags as possible for each photo.
      Also, you can go to #likeforlike or #like4like and like a lot of photos. Not everyone likes back, but at least you get some likes. I have yet to try this, but I might experiment with one photo.
    2. Applying filters filters give the photo a unique look, instagram offers several, half the time I opt for normal (ie no filter) but I will look through the various filters to see if I like a particular one.

    3. Posting pictures people want to see. Quality not quantity. High-quality pictures are apt to get the most likes on Instagram.
      • Never post three or more similar photos in a row. Choose the best one to display.
      • People like unique photos of things they’ve never seen before.
      • I find people like animals, the cuter the better. Photos I have posted of dogs, cats and horses tend to have more views than my other photos. This sadly isn’t true of the lizard photos, I’ve posted.
      • Don’t post photos of your food…unless it is really spectacular…
    4. Be community minded. Take time to comment on a friend’s photo, or to like photos. If you do this, others will reciprocate. If you never acknowledge your followers’ photos, then they won’t acknowledge you. (the same applies for WordPress blogs!).
      You can also start liking photos of random people to see if they like back. I follow more than I’m followed. If you like my photos or follow me, chances are I will take a look at your page and follow if I like what I see.
      Some take these like hashtags a bit far: #like4like #likes4likes #instalike  #liker #likes4like #liketeam #likesforfollow #likeallmypics #likeme #like4follow #likeall #likeforlike #likeback #likealways #likesreturned #likes #likebackalways #nice #liked #like4likes #likesforspam #likesforlikes #instalikes #liking #likesforlike #likebackteam
    5. Be time conscious. This one is tricky because I live in Georgia (the country not the state) (GMT +4) and many of those I interact with are in different timezones. It is 10.55am here, in New York 2.35 am, in Los Angeles 11.55pm, in London 7.55am, in Tokyo 3.55 pm.
      Most activity with your photo will happen in the first few hours, so make those hours count. Here’s when WikiHow suggests you should post your photos:

      • Post in the middle of the day, when people are likely to be bored at work and surfing the web. Don’t post too early in the morning, or at five or six o’clock, because most people are too busy commuting to notice your photos.
      • Post your photos a little after dinner time. People browse the web when they’re tired in the evening.
      • Post your photos during special occasions. Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day are good times to post. Although some are too busy celebrating to notice your photos, they may actually be more likely to check them out.
        On a Friday or Saturday night, people may see the photos, but they may not want to admit that they have nothing better to do on a weekend than to look at instagram photos.
    6. Making links My Instagram account connects to my facebook account giving a wider audience for my pictures.
    7. Using other Applications This seems too manipulative and doesn’t interest me. I am not selling a service or product through my Instagram account, I am just curious how I can garner more likes.
water fight
water fight

I love this photo of my wife and grandchildren having a water fight on a hot summer’s day. The photo on Instagram attracted just five likes. The hashtags I used were #waterfight #hot #cooldown #summeringeorgia #picoftheday

A video I posted of a waterfight in the village got 31 likes, I’ve been looking at some of my earlier posts and the most likes were got by videos I posted. Unfortunately I don’t have good equipment for recording video.


These six posts got a combined total of 100 likes.

Screenshot from 2019-08-26 07:59:50

Looking at the Insights on these six posts:
Space Kid got 23 likes, 0 comments, 138 accounts reached 60% weren’t following me. Impressions 173, from hashtags 90 from home 64, from location 5, from other 13.
Stars’n’Stripes’n’hijab got 7 likes, 0 comments, 60 accounts reached 23% weren’t following me. Impressions 91, from hashtags 9 from home 70, from location 0, from other 12.

Metro Escalator got 17 likes, 2 comments, 83 accounts reached 45% weren’t following me. Impressions 113, from hashtags 25 from home 60, from location 6, from other 12.

Lada 2101 in miniature. 1:64 scale. Made in USSR got 9 likes, 0 comments, 140 accounts reached 70% weren’t following me. Impressions 187, from hashtags 110 from home 59, from location 8, from other 10.

MAZ gas delivery truck got 25 likes, 0 comments, 275 accounts reached 81% weren’t following me. Impressions 338, from hashtags 242 from home 82, from location 3, from other 11.

White cat got 19 likes, 0 comments, 76 accounts reached 25% weren’t following me. Impressions 119, from hashtags 12 from home 93, from location 4, from other 10.

Update 10 October 2019

I now have 20 more followers than in August and I’m following 54 more accounts, despite more interactions my pictures struggle to get likes in double figures.

Screenshot from 2019-10-10 11:17:55






If you have any thoughts on getting likes on Instagram, I’d love to read your comments.



Social Media

We are living in an age where we are swamped by social media.

“Everyone a person needs has long been on messengers. It’s pointless and time-consuming to maintain increasingly obsolete friend lists on public networks. Reading other people’s news is brain clutter. To clear out room for the new, one shouldn’t fear getting rid of old baggage.” Pavel Durov

After years of excess on social media, more users know better what aspects of it they value – such as being able to loosely keep in touch with people – and which aspects are mostly destructive but persistent habits.

I find it useful to be connected loosely to numerous friends on Facebook, but following the notifications can be daunting and distracting. I was part of the MySpace exodus, when it became clear that most of my friends were on Facebook. I feel I spend too much of my time on Facebook as I am in numerous groups related to various interests. I don’t have friend culls and will only block someone if they are really obnoxious or begging for money. I don’t play candy crush but will sometimes play Pool Online.

Aside from Facebook, I have a channel on Youtube, I would like to look into vlogging more seriously, I have been uploading some simple videos using my Huawei smartphone and an amateur video edit app.

My YouTube Channel

Twitter, I use to follow more than to tweet. I follow funny people like Ricky Gervais and Dom Joly, I have no interest in following politicians like Trump and Obama. I also follow my football team, Leyton Orient and I will use Twitter to promote this and other blogs.

Pinterest, I use for my hobby of collecting diecast cars, sharing and looking at photos of diecast cars.

Instagram, I’ve been using for sharing Prisma images and seeing what others are sharing.

Reddit I mainly post on the Sakartvelo (Georgia) and Diecast subreddits.

Linkedin, I don’t know why I joined this, I’m not into career networking.

Google + I tried it for a couple of months, but my interest soon waned.

It seems the more we are connected, the less we are connected.

no smartphone, no
no smartphone, no comment

I also use email, I have email with yahoo and hotmail.

What social media do you use and why?