Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Wishlist

So I thought I shouldn't put up wishlists ...but then they are a main part of waking dreams, so I'm gonna put it here anyway :)

My Christmas Wish list for the year!

  1. Electronic whisk
  2. Vacuum cleaner
    (Am I becoming domesticated?
  3. Daily Calendar with quotes
  4. Golf umbrella
  5. Boots
  6. Peppy cheese balls
    (What would my list be without something to eat o:) )

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Disconnected - Day 8


How art thou?

Life is great here!

It's been 11 days since I made the decision to turn off my phone. 10 since I implemented the idea. Day 8, because I had it on intermittently for a couple of days during the flood here.

So how have the days been? What did I find out?

The biggest discovery that I have made is how free I feel mentally all the time.

I know I gave a long almost philosophical explanation to it all. I'm sure most of it holds true, and I have a few examples of instances to prove it too. But now I'm realizing that the reason I needed it more than anything was because of how having to be constantly connected or have something to do basically creates a STATIC in your brain.

With the phone, I remember finding it extremely difficult to focus. I often forgot things. It was tough to sit or stay idle for more than a few minutes. It felt as if that time could be used - either to play, or watch a video on the phone, or just scroll through mindless repetitive facebook feed, or message people on WhatsApp.
Earlier, I couldn't go 5 minutes without being occupied before going "I'm Booooaaaaarredd"
So the world felt smaller... more about now. Which is not a bad thing, unless it's limiting the possibilities of a greater tomorrow.

Let me go through the pros and cons in a more organized fashion

We shall begin with the Cons

  1. Being disconnected makes one rather lost while traveling or coordinating
    (I come to work by the office bus, and when it rains I don't go to my normal point of pick up, instead I go to a place more accessible by public transport. Last Wednesday, I stood there for a very long time unsure of if I'd missed the bus or if it was terribly late! *Got lucky there, it was late*)
  2. Online Bank transactions are becoming a bit of a challenge because of the OTP requirements
  3. Letting home know that I'm okay / gonna be late (Could be an extension of point 1) I had to borrow a friend's phone a couple of times for that
  4. Making adhoc plans with someone not available immediately available is almost impossible
  5. A camera isn't always in my pocket
I know there are other things like not able to listen to music whenever I pleased, or not having a calculator/ torch/ notepad always at my disposal, or not able to watch a video when I please, my tracker apps ... all those are missed intermittently ..but not to any paralysing effect. These cons can be comfortable lived with.

Now for the Pros:
  1. Now, without a phone, I can think free.
    There doesn't seem to be a constant undercurrent of thought and opinions or noises of others clouding the process. Brain static as explained above is absent.
  2. I can remember numbers! I remember so many phone numbers. (They do talk about necessity being the mother of things)
  3. I remember details, small details I would earlier forget and go "Dayum, I should have taken a picture of that!)
  4. I've been using my DSLR more often ;)
  5. Friends around me don't use their phones as much now since they know that they have to be civil and talk to me and not just smile to their phones
  6. It's free. I don't have to constantly check/ fight urges to check for messages. After the first couple of days, even those phantom vibrations stopped
  7. Time is regulated. People are specific about the time they can reach me about keeping to appointments
  8. I have conversations with people. I did back then too, but now it feels fuller cause I'm not distracted by a phone.

I was wondering (like many of my friends did too) what I was going to gain by doing this for 15 days. I was almost certain that I would be going back to my old mobile phone ways soon enough - so what am I trying to achieve by this?
This is like a vacation.
A vacation from busy-everything-available-at-your-doorstep city life. A vacation to a nice calm world, where one spends time with oneself ans quality time with friends. Good times these :)

I am sure I will discover more quirky advantages of both using and not using a cell phone - and I look forward to it :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Disconnected : Day 0

Technology was catching up to us.
Now, we are trying to keep up with it.

I remember back in the days of just land lines and no mobile phones, no facebook and no internet for all. We spoke and laughed with people. We did things and didn't document every second of it in Instagram. We had fun, and we were genuinely happy.
The lonely people were genuinely lonely for understandable reasons.

No with a million different ways to stay connected, we have so many ways of being lonely. Conversations and laughter have become a luxury. Texts and LOLs typed out with straight faces have taken their place. We live in an era where we cut off a live conversation with a living breathing human sitting or standing across from us to speak to one who is connected to us via strange telephonic waves that I don't even comprehend the working of.

We text and smile at posts as we ignore those around us.

Yes, it does have its advantages.

We need never get lost, but I don't know the way to my friend's place anymore. Only my GPS does.

I have my sister on speed dial, but I don't know her number by heart anymore.

No message or mail need ever be erased, but that makes everything easy to forget.

General knowledge is at an all time low - cause Google knows it anyway, and we can "Google" it.

I can track my expenses on my phone, I can track my contact lens cycle on my phone, Hell, I even track my period on it! Meaning, without them, I no longer have a track of what and when.

We can dig up any documented information on anything. We can make payments, transfer money.

We need never be bored because our smartphones with expandable memories can store a great amount of videos, games and anything one might find interesting - how comfortable are people sitting still with their thoughts anymore? I realized I wasn't preferring it much myself! Why sit idle, when you can be occupied!

We can call anybody anytime. Yes, we can keep in touch with our near dear ones even from farther and farther! But this also makes us sometimes disregard their situation then, cause it's a personal phone and it's become the norm anyway.

*Norm is the researchers' abbreviation to refer to "Normal" behavior. We have, with the widespread usage of mobile phones, made rude behavior normal.*

Facebook ...don't even get me started on that!

We don't have to strictly stick to our schedules anymore as we can always call and cancel at the last minute. Some are more polite "Can I confirm by tonight?" for tomorrow's plan, made a week ago.

We can always be connected. The possibility of which has made us more fragmented than ever. 

We wish, we celebrate, we even make love over the phones. 

We can do so much. We can.

I do. Too.

I have a fairly fancy smartphone. I have numerous apps that assist my everyday living. I claim in makes life so much easier for me. I give a lot of these apps more access to my information than the logically require to function normally. I tell myself that it's a fair trade-off, for how they help me.

The question should be, is it worth it?

I am not contesting the usefulness of smartphones. No. I accept they are extremely useful.
I am contesting their importance in our lives.
Do they have to be so essential that their absence can incapacitate us?

That's exactly what I want to find out.

Despite my philosophical approach to it all, I do depend on my phone quite a bit. I'm constantly taking pictures, even rearranging food to make it look pretty before clicking it, and texting all the time, GPS, my apps and so on. I'm not as addicted as many (my dad for instance ;) ) but I do feel the need for, rather than just want it.

So now, I have decided to DO something that many hypothesize: We should just turn off our phones and find out how it is. 

I'm going to do it, and find out what about just the idea of living without a handphone makes your friends go: "Are you, alright sweetie?" "Did something happen?" "Is someone stalking you?" and your acquaintances just simply go: "Are you crazy?"

Why does the simple act of living without a handphone seem like such an extreme decision? 

I shall switch off my phone for 15 days and find out :) And you're welcome to my answers.