You may have experienced such a moment: You turn on your mobile phone only to find a flood of notifications. It drives you crazy. So you delete all of them with one click, then turn off all notifications right away.
This last act is what we call duansheli, or minimalism. In our era of information explosions, it is a simple lifestyle of clarity and purification.
According to Xinhua Dictionary, duan indicates refraining from consumption; she means giving up unnecessary stuff and getting rid of reputations or ambitions to achieve a kind of purification; and li implies self-recognition and self-appreciation after freeing oneself from the materialist world.
Minimalism, with its original purpose of decluttering and tidying up, was first proposed by a Japanese woman. The idea later expanded into our digital lives, seeking to eliminate useless information. For housewives, decluttering is to reshuffle their routines. For other people, it means rearranging our lives to relieve stress, says The Washington Post.
In modern life, minimalism is a good way to stay free from advertisements, repeated entertainment and fake news. Just like disposing the junk in our closets, minimalism says we should take action against the unhelpful apps in our phones. They not only take up storage, but also disrupt our lives. As an old saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.” One click to delete them all may bring a new feeling of freedom.
The Scottish writer Richard Holloway once said, “Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art.”
Holloway would probably say that minimalism is a healthy lifestyle. It changes our focus, from objects to ourselves. Unlike people who hold on to consumerism, minimalists tend to have a more simple and optimistic attitude toward the world.
(Translator & Editor: Wang Xingwei AND Luo Sitian)