The right tool for the job – how many devices is too many?

Minimalist line in the sand – I’m not getting rid of my TV.

Unlike many (most?) minimalists, I have not done away with my TV. I have, however, made it more intentional. Starting with our intentional TV (LINK) usage in the past couple of years, Wifey and I reduced the amount of time the TV is on, had many days where it isn’t used at all, and basically eliminated seeing ads by using the PVR.

It is a bit odd to me now when someone mentions an ad because, unless I saw it at a movie theatre (don’t get me started on the captive audience ads of movie theatres), I haven’t seen it. Two friends were talking about the merits of channel flipping during commercial breaks and I honestly could not relate. I realized the last time I watched a show during broadcast was last year’s Oscars, 11 months prior.

(Which means I’m partly to blame for the increase in product placement during TV shows)

I have broken from the minimalist mould because I limit what I see to what I really want to see. And to get the most value from that time, I don’t want to watch it on a tablet or desktop screen.

I tend to limit my devices to a few uses. A large part of that is to limit distraction. My ebook reader, for example, doesn’t have a web browser, so that one is easy.

My device use these days is:

iPhone – youtube, news apps, learning apps, camera

Android tablet – comic reading apps, library digital app, pdfs

Kobo ebook reader – books through Kobo store or Humble Bundle

Gigantor screen TV – PVR’d content (6 or so shows), World Cup Soccer, Netflix, downloaded content, blu-rays

Desktop computer – Social media, writing, occasional youtube

I tend not to watch youtube on my desktop, since that browser button is too big a temptation and distraction. That goes for a lot of things, to be honest. I know if pushed I could reduce my number of devices. But it would also mean that I was doing more types of thinking/doing on the same ones.

Right now, I can grab my Kobo and read outside without the temptation to check social media or rate a few movies on imdb. Spreading these activities out over several devices reinforces single tasking.