A day of Digital Detoxing!!!

It’s not very often that I tune into FM Radio while driving. That space is usually kept for Indian Classical music, Ilayaraja and of late Kishore Kumar. A chance tuning to Red FM 93.5 a few days back spurred an idea which caught my imagination. The station amidst bajaoing the likes of the highly repulsive ‘baby ko bass pasand hai’ and its ilk, was filling in with a new segment called “Prayaas” which they explained was an attempt to create awareness on social causes. So that day’s Prayaas was devoted to what they called as the “digital” disease and described with a funny song how people have fallen into the “Digital Trap” in almost all walks of life. Aimed to be funny, it was thought provoking!

Coming to think of it, it’s a fact that most of the urban and semi urban population world over is today suffering from this “Digitalitis”! It’s an ailment which involuntarily spread itself with technology – first the internet and now the smart phone. Reams or rather terabytes have been consumed on how a day in the life of a human being has changed with the advent of the smart phone, on how a smart phone has made a person dumb and so on. Like the other day in a Coffee shop, one saw a lone guy. No big deal, right? But the surprise thing was he was not checking his phone. And was not on his laptop either. Was just sipping and enjoying his coffee. Somebody commented that he must be a psychopath😄😄. Today, a guy just sitting and having his coffee without being in the “Digital space” cannot be anything else!!!

In these days of waking into your smart phone and closing your eyes in the night after checking and responding to the last messages in the myriad groups in WhatsApp, what happens if you shut yourself “Digitally” for a day? A day of Digital Detoxing??? So that was yesterday for me when I decided to go back to the pre-smart phone days. That means – no WhatsApping even Good morning messages or indulging in weekend banter in at last count 46 groups😄😄. Not logging into Facebook even for greeting friends on Birthdays which I do very religiously now. (For a person who is bad at remembering dates, knowing the Birthdates of near and dear thro FB is a Godsend). No Tweeting, not even the usual satirical one liners (pakau stuff for some)! And no checking the phone now and then (as per the wife – every half a second!!) for business e mails!! And certainly no blogging😄😄

dd2

Having decided to go through this, the first step was to announce this proudly to the wife. (Lest she should not think that her man is not well the whole day😜😜). The immediate reaction was in predictable lines. “One full day of Digital Detoxing??? No Chance”!! I challenge that you cannot cross even few minutes forget a day and all😜” Thoughts of all the past challenges with the wife which you invariably lost came to the mind! But I still muster courage and reaffirm my resolve to be detoxed. So what was my experience???

First up, the digital detox day started off with a bad omen. The tyranny of the I-phone battery ensured that the battery was drained out completely when I got up. So may be that was a good omen!!! After putting it up for charging, I touched my phone only to answer few calls whole of the day! And as an extension to the detox programme, the laptop was firmly entrenched in its bag!

The Omen – Good or Bad notwithstanding, the experience was not bad at all. Not only did I withstood for 12 hours, but went beyond that as well.  It certainly helped that it was a weekend and hence could afford to put away the phone in a corner of the drawing room. Of course there were temptations to check messages in WhatsApp but could resist without much ado.  When you don’t have to catch up with messages in the many WA groups in the early morning, you could get back to the youth habit of reading the newspaper from the “Mast head” to the “printed and published by,…” line. Oops nowadays it is from “one ad for a smart phone” to “another one for an Ecom sale”😄😄. No checking the phone while in signals or traffic jams which is an instinctive thing to do nowadays. Same while waiting in check-out counters while shopping! Could engage with banters with the wife and the daughter without interruptions. The banter went on and on that the wife felt that the regular day was better😄😄. The eyes which get moist in usual days staring most of the time on the laptop screen and straining on mobile screen felt relaxed. From multi-tasking (which is what you end up doing when you are working on the phone all the time) to single tasking, the day was more relaxing I felt.

Couple (only😄) of my friends called to check if all’s well with me – since they didn’t see the 2 blue ticks against messages sent to me over WA all through the day!

By evening, the sister called to check if there was some major fight with the wife at home. (Incidentally the wife also gave a miss to the regular Good morning message yesterday!!!). I had to convince the sister that the situation was quite the opposite – hopefully😄😄

Otherwise nothing much was missed! Today morning, could pick up the thread easily and move on. So maybe I should do it more often. And may be one day isn’t enough to feel the difference. So, to my fellow travelers in the digital age, do try this “digital detoxing”! But please inform your folks in advance that you are on Digital Detoxing😄😄 I will, certainly the next time which is most likely to be for a week!

Postscript:  In Chennai, I came across a restaurant where the patrons have to leave the mobile phones behind in lockers. Last heard – its doing well with the wives😄😄

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19 thoughts on “A day of Digital Detoxing!!!

  1. Bindu Prasad says:

    Nice idea Anand. I think even i should try it once in a while. After u brothers hooked me on to Wa it was difficult for me to overlook the fact that u had not even posted good morning. Both husband and wife on digital detox on the same day caused the worry. Sry for troubling u both with my calls. It is a great “Prayas” and happy u both were successful in keeping it. Will try to do it soon. The blog as usual written very interestingly! !

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Suri says:

    Good work Anand. I do it regularly not by choice, but due to work . Not convenient to catch up on whatsapp in front of patients! Having said that when you do come back to the phone, huge work load awaits to go through all the messages and answer back.

    Like

  3. PRADEEP says:

    I’m planning not to hook to net thru all modes during Ekadesi fasting as a first step . Enjoyed the blog which depicted the real life – Pradeep Chand

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sridhar says:

    Good one RSA. I think we all will get detoxed in couple of years. Just as the commercials overload on TV is forcing us to shun the idiot box, info overload will drive us away from being connected.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thiagarajan says:

    Nice thinking and implementing, RSA.

    This is similar to Fasting (or) Eating only Raw Vegetables/Fruits for a Day, once in a week/month, instead of dumping Cooked Foods.

    But the results of “Di De” will be much better, as its good for Body, Mind and Soul.

    Body – Avoid Eye strain, Headache and any other pain.
    Mind – Avoid Too much Thinking
    Soul – Avoid wandering here and there 🙂

    Thanks, RSA.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Shaun says:

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you
    wrote a book on it or something. this is excellent blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

    Like

  7. Ranjit Gurkar says:

    Good one Anand!

    Take a trip to Vythiri driving thru the hills and serene jungles of Kerala and Karnataka, where getting Hindi or English FM stations is impossible, and so is a signal on your phone.

    The first feeling is Anxiety! What happens if my mother, children , broker, banker needs me in a hurry????

    The next action is surrender!
    Kay sera sera……..

    Then one begins to notice and admire the surroundings, smell the clean air, listen, I mean really hear and listen to what your wife is saying! Stop for coffee.

    Next. …….euphoria….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. upasna1987 says:

    Hello, I bumped into your Blog through Blogadda Saturday picks. Congo!
    I too like this idea. Some days when I, unintentionally, forget my Phone at Home- I feel so relaxed and use my Colleague’s phone for giving miss calls to Family members.
    Very well stitched post.

    Liked by 1 person

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