I switched off the Net and Mobile....and I am still alive.

A smartphone with two SIM cards, and four apps–I wouldn’t call myself a “smartphone smartie ” or ” Whatsap watcher” .
A Net connection with a router which is never switched off, the lightest laptop which powers on immediately, and spider-solitaire on the desktop–I wouldn’t paste that label of “Net junkie” on me.
No, no…I am the mistress of my time.

I do check my phone regularly, I do check emails and FB posts, I do play some night-time solitaire games, but I am doing fine and doesn’t everyone live with technology like I do?!

There have been bleeps on the radar screen.My blog posts have become few and far between, and some of them have been all about just getting the page filled, instead of getting the feelings and words to actually work together to create a picture. Plans to launch the online store just keep slipping down the “to-do” list. I have been having a grand time attending get-togethers and lunches,but I can’t recall when did I last have friends over for a meal. My passport needs to be updated, and there are a zillion files on my laptop which need to be sorted .

The last few months had me wondering if I was just fooling myself and finding excuses for things going slow, or not happening at all. It seems so easy to just reach out and check my mobile, or open the browser on the laptop and loose myself in knitting patterns, regularly updated blogs of quality writing, facebook and solitaire. And all this after keeping Twitter and Pinterest out of my life!
A few articles have been hovering on my mind-scape. Minimalist blogs extol the benefits of unplugging the Net and even smart tech managers have been spreading the message. It was time to take some action, and there is no time like now.

After informing the girls, giving them two emergency numbers ( Hema the housekeeper and A the neighbour), telling a few friends and well wishers, I switched off the mobile and the Wi-Fi router on Thursday night.

Sleep came easily, like every night. Woke up and reached out to switch off the mobile charger ( like always)…there was nothing charging!

No checking the 70 odd Whatsap messages, just a few stretches and a long good walk with 5 dogs into the rising sun.

No surfing Net post breakfast, just a few hours of focussed knitting on a long delayed project. I soaked in the morning sunshine, brushed the dogs clean and savoured tea and conversation with Hema to bring up lunch time.

Afternoon was a quiet snooze and a quiet reading of some pages of this book. There were no bleeps and blips to interrupt the story-teller, and I was in the helm of that ship, admiring the colours of that artificially lit garden and experiencing the swaying ship.

Evening walk and sunset stroll, quiet dinner and some TV watching. My mind had been itching to switch on the Net and maybe play a tiny game of solitaire. It would be a minute and Facebook and others would crowd into my head, so I watched the itching mind and did nothing about it. Its a powerful feeling, the feeling of being on top of one’s mind and just watching the throes of the-almost-addicted-neurons. It felt much better than scrolling posts, or surfing websites.

It was time for some deep sleep in bright moonlight. I slept well and woke up on Saturday with a good feeling. A feeling which made me delay switching back the mobile and Net. A feeling that has convinced me to repeat this experiment every Friday, till it becomes a habit. A feeling which has reassured me that I can do it!

The phone rang and it was my daughter ” How did it go? How did it feel? How many people sent worried emails and messages?”. I smiled wryly , ” it wasn’t half as dramatic as I had imagined, my dear. No one drove up and screeched to a halt outside the apartments..no one came shouting my name and asking if I was alright..no one missed me on Facebook or Whatsap…no one cared!!! ”

We laughed and laughed and I realised that I did care about me…giving myself a day of quiet, unplugged hours was one of the best things I had done for myself. It reinforced my belief that I am still capable to make choices about connectivity, I can live and function without distractions if I choose to, and yes, the world will not collapse if my magnificent machines do!!

 

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One Comment
  1. Oh my God. Unbelievable. I thought you were writing all this for me. I didn’t know the same thing was happening somewhere else with somebody. The smartphones are not eating away ah hour or two, it has sucked days and months now. 100% agree it is more of a time waste than anything else.
    Getting inspired by your experience, trying to strengthen my mind and break the addiction.
    But like always would wait for your next write up.

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