Lately I’ve been pondering the relationship (if any) between minimalism and frugality. I’ve received some comments from friends and colleagues about my minimalism and the fact that I do buy certain things that they consider to be “not minimalist”. There seems to be a pervasive image of the minimalist as this ascetic, lifeless, joyless, boring person. I don’t know about you, but that’s not me, and I don’t ever want it to be me. Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist wrote a very good post titled Addressing Minimalism’s Misconceptions, that goes into great detail on this topic. It’s a definite must-read.
I love Serena’s tagline at Everyday Minimalist: Living With Less, But Only With The Best. Yes, that sounds like me.
Leo Babauta, one of my early minimalist inspirations, defines a minimalist lifestyle as “A life that has been stripped of the unnecessary, to make room for that which gives you joy.” Now, that tells me that it’s possible to let go of those things that are extraneous and are not giving us joy, but to keep those that do make us happy. We are all different, and all of us have different visions of what make us happy. Some travel all over the world. Some enjoy the best food they can afford. Some donate to charity.
In my case, technology has always been one of my major passions. Following the latest trends in technology, for me, is not about being cool or having the next great toy, but about envisioning how technology can make our lives better. And in my evolving view of technology and how I want to live my life from now on, I’ve decided I need to replace my (aging) desktop computer with a laptop. I want to spend more time writing and developing this blog and turning it into a community of like-minded souls that come together to challenge each other and learn from each other along the way. I feel I can better accomplish this by becoming more mobile. But there’s a problem.
My desktop computer is a Mac. I love Mac OS X. Conversely, I hate, hate, HATE Windows. I’m forced to use it at the office, but if I had the choice, I would have a Mac there too. (Did I mention I really HATE Windows?). Anyway, I’m in the market for a new laptop, and since I recently became debt-free, I can finally afford a nice laptop with some bells and whistles, and I would love to get a new MacBook Air 11″, with maybe an upgraded 128 GB Solid State Drive. Yes, I could buy a $300 Windows netbook, but I think I would end up hating it, besides, netbooks are not known for being good desktop replacements. I need my new laptop to handle anything I throw at it. That said, I don’t need it to be blazing fast, I just need it to be stable. Mac OS X is stable. I could buy a laptop with more RAM, more (conventional) hard drive space, and with an optical drive for about half the price, but it runs Windows. It’s a conundrum. Part of me wants it and wants to justify it; part of me says it’s extravagant and yes, not minimalist.
Most of the digital nomads I follow online do have Apple laptops. I’m sure this is because of their stability and long-term useful lives. Again, this is NOT about status symbols or being cool. I don’t want to have to buy a new laptop for at least 3 years, so it has to last. The only drawback I can see with an MBA is hard drive space, but that’s what portable hard drives are for, right?
I guess I’m asking for your input, fellow bloggers and readers. Can you tell me if you use a desktop or a laptop, what brand it is, and what platform it runs? In the case of bloggers, what is your main writing machine, so to speak? If you use a laptop or netbook, is it your main computer, or do you use it just for writing?
I need to make a decision within the next month or two, so there’s no immediate rush. I would love to hear your opinions on this matter, and what you recommend I do, and why. Thanks!!!