This post is part of A to Z Challenge for April 2016. For letter O, I am choosing Online – Offline.
A to Z Challenge April 2016: O for Online-Offline
The idea for this post comes from A to Z challenge home page.
I normally spend a lot of time online. The first thing I do as soon as I wake up in the mornings is check my phone for whatsapp messages followed by facebook feeds, twitter and emails. All through the day I am constantly checking my phone as it flashes because of messages and tweets and live feeds. Basically, the only time I am offline for prolonged period is when I am asleep. Gosh! That is scary!
During my recent trip to India, I had no choice but to go offline completely for the full 3 weeks of my stay there as my phone doesn’t have international roaming facility. In the previous trips I used to access whatsAapp and internet via Wi-Fi but this time I didn’t have access to Wi-Fi and hence no whatsapp or facebook or twitter or google or Yotube. For the first few days it was really hard. My instinct was to check my phone every so often only to realise that it was offline. By the end of first week though I had got used to being offline and then it wasn’t too bad.
What going offline meant was I switched off completely from my online world. This totally freed me and I had loads of time in my hand. I played for hours together with Bambi without any distractions from my phone such as notifications and messages. When Mum was in the kitchen cooking delicacies for us, I had time to go and sit with her in the kitchen and chat unlike in the previous trips where I would be on my laptop or phone until it’s time for food. I had time to sit in the balcony with a cup of coffee and soak in the beauty of nature; I had time to just watch Bambi play by herself; I just had loads of time to do pretty much anything that I wanted to do. I felt relaxed, liberated and rejuvenated.
During those 3 weeks, I got the opportunity to connect with the world immediately around me than with world at large by staying offline. However I am not against technology. Instead I am a proponent of technology. I have a career in technology and I am very passionate about it. Technology has empowered me and brought me closer to many people who live miles away from me and whom I wouldn’t have known otherwise, as well as I do now. With the click of a button today I can share my pictures, audio clips, video clips etc instantly with friends and family from anywhere, anytime.
It is not technology that scares me but the life where I am always connected, always distracted, always interrupted, and always bombarded with forwarded jokes, updates, pictures and messages; where I am always chatting with people living far far away from me than with people in the same room as me.
Today social media has made its own mark and so it is not altogether a bad thing to stay connected with the online world. What is important is maintaining the right balance between online and offline worlds. These days, I am making deliberate efforts to maintain a positive balance between offline and online world by keeping one out of the way of other. As a result, I am being more productive and focused at work; I am able to spend quality time at home and with the real world. My online times have become a ‘treat’ time and I use it wisely. So far, so good; let’s see how it goes -The balance between the Online and Offline world.