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  • Writer's pictureLalita Dileep

Living without Internet for 24 hours – yet staying aligned.

Unplugging from Technology

Caught Unawares

Friday evenings are distinctive. It is the night to top off the week with fun, creative shindigs and probably a delicious dinner. It is not the night to be without internet. Yet that is exactly what happened last weekend, when we lost Internet connectivity accidently. It felt like the universe had come to a standstill, like we were on the edge of a precipice, lost, floundering, wondering what to do with ourselves. All plans of winding down the work week with some binge watching on TV came crashing down, an eerie stillness filled the home. We were literally unplugged, wondering how to entertain ourselves, since we were bereft of TV, Music and Wi-Fi access. It was akin to facing a blank wall, and we found ourselves having to step back and tell ourselves this can’t be all that bad, there were a ton of things we could accomplish without the internet.

But Internet has become an integral part of our lives, our lifeline and without it, we have to pause, assess and learn other ways to be productive. The average millennial spends approximately 3 hours on social media every day. On an average we pick up our phones at least 58 times a day, that is, if we ever put it down! More than 80% of us check our social media as soon as we wake up. Studies have indicated that we login to our devices every 6.5 minutes. What this adds up to is more distraction, anxiety and mental clutter. Herbert Simon said, “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention”. Here is some food for thought as our brains are being spilt in a million more directions, leaving us feeling that we are always being left behind. We are becoming impulse driven, reactive and highly charged with content that can range from good to garbage.

Unplugging & reconnecting with oneself

Our access to technology is almost overwhelming. We can be browsing on the internet, while our phone sends us notifications at the same time our favorite TV show beckons. Information overload can be exhausting. That Friday night a calm descended. Even as frustration gnawed at the fringes of my consciousness because I couldn’t remotely turn off the lights or change the temperature on the thermostat – other possibilities emerged. We could pick up a book and read – what an old fashioned thought! We could play cards or indulge in a board game, maybe even go for a late night walk around the community.

Instead of being anxious and stressed out, eventually we got to the place of sober analysis and realization of surviving and even enjoying the “tech break”. I escaped to write, always a calming exercise for me. Others in the family went off to declutter the physical spaces, a long pending task. The gym beckoned the third member in the household and just like that we found productive ways to spend our Friday evening.

Learning Curve

We did not become total converts overnight, judging by our thrilling response when the internet was restored on Saturday! Nonetheless, we did learn to tame our triggers, exercise our brain power in imaginative directions and learnt how useful it is to set healthy boundaries. My readers, have you faced something similar? Let’s swap experiences and share how you set your own guardrails.

We are stronger together


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