Practices of Digital Asceticism

Living a Digital Life of Intent

Nicholas J. Weyrens
2 min readJan 17, 2022

I think a lot about technology.

I think a lot about technology use.

I think a lot about my technology us.

As a Christian, I’ve grown more and more perplexed by the lack of conversation around technology, its use, and how it is effecting our everyday pursuit of becoming like Jesus.

I am thoroughly convinced of the idea that we are what we do [1]. But if we don’t talk about what we do, then it’s hard to be inspired by others, spurred on by the healthy (and maybe culturally crazy) digital habits of others.

Below is a working database of practices of digital asceticism [2]. I’m sure by the end of it, there will be practices that I use and practices that I don’t. Practices that were birthed from my own quirky brain, and practices that I’ve heard others use. There will be things I do, and don’t do. There will be things that work for me that don’t work for you. But, my hope is that as our digital practices become something we discuss, we can inspire and challenge each other towards utilizing our technology with intent.

Photo by Vojtech Bruzek on Unsplash


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[1] Of course, for the Christian, we know this is partially true; our identity in Christ now supersedes all, even our bad habits.

[2] At a later date, I’ll define digital asceticism more fully, but in brief: digital asceticism is the setting down of technology for the pursuit of flourishing (which for me would mean “flourishing in Christ”). In ancient tradition ascetic practices were an extreme rejection/avoidance of anything that was considered indulgent. When I think of asceticism, I think more of practices of “putting off.” Practices like fasting, Sabbath, silence, solitude are practices in which we “put something off” to (1) re-evaluate our relationship with it and (2) remind ourselves that it is not our God (or master for the non-religious reader). When we fast, we put off food to (1) reflect on how we’ve been relating to food throughout the week (“I’ve been eating a lot of brownies during this stressful week, why is that?”) and (2) remind ourselves that we are not slaves to food (“I’m more than my animalistic desires for comfort food.’). After fasting, we can then enter back in with a new perspective of our relationship to our food. Digital asceticism is “putting off” technology through certain digital practices, as well as having healthy digital practices or “digital hygiene” as others have termed it.