From virtual to reality

Digital detox

From virtual to reality

Smartphones, tablets and other devices are the new-gen sweethearts in today’s world.

These beloved companions are by our side through thick and thin and not a day passes when we are away from them. This attachment is quite literal — we sprout so many cords and wires from our innumerable devices that we might make aliens look quite normal. Seriously, this is the height of ‘being connected’.

In such a scenario, imagine leaving your phone or iPads back at home when you leave for work or worse, for a long trip. Most of us would definitely freak out or feel lost without these devices. But as far as experiences go to show, it need not be such a miserable situation after all.

“I left my phone at home one day while going to office, ” says Mayukh Ghosh, a professional. “I realised that only after I reached office and there was no way I could go back after that. Initially, I felt quite restless and lost. Though I had all the important information on my laptop, a sense of comfort that comes from having your phone next to you was missing. But as the day progressed, I found that I was actually enjoying my isolation. No phone calls, no WhatsApp messages, no Facebook notifications — I was in my own oasis of peace and solitude. So relaxed was I, that the next time I went on a trip, I deliberately left my phone behind, something that was quite unimaginable to all my friends. I did not click a single picture nor did I post any update on social media but I have never enjoyed myself so much.”

Sanchita Agarwal has a similar story to narrate but with reversed locations. “I left my phone at office and blissfully went back home,” she says, laughing.

 “When I realised that, I immediately wanted to take a taxi and go to office to retrieve my precious gadget, but since it was very late, my mother wouldn’t hear of it. For some time after that, I literally did not know what to do with myself. Without texts, without phone calls, without browsing the net — I really had no clue how to pass the time till morning.

Out of sheer boredom, I went into the garden and just sat there for some time. My mother was most surprised and she came to join me. We sat and talked for some time and when we went back into the house, half an hour later, I realised I had not felt so good for quite a long time.”

While most of us do realise that we have become hopelessly dependent on our phones, whether to keep us entertained or to help us avoid making eye-contact with other members of the same species, a ‘digital detox’ is something that we would all shudder to think about. And it does come with its share of problems.

“I left my phone at a friend’s place one day and had quite a hard time getting back home,” says Simran Tandon. “I couldn’t recall any numbers or addresses because everything was jotted down in my phone. I couldn’t book a cab nor did I have Google Maps to help me with directions to the nearest bus stop. So, to my own surprise, I asked people for directions! And for the first time in years, I looked out of the bus window while travelling. I felt free — and oddly satisfied that I could sort our problems without Google’s help.”

Ultimately, we all need some ‘me’ time in every relationship — even if it is one with our phone.

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