Back in 2003, when I was in my third year at IIT, I thought that “life was going too fast”. That too many things were happening all the time and I had no time for anything. I decided to respond to that by purposely slowing down my life. I gave away my bicycle (which was the primary means of transport at IIT) and started walking. This meant I had to leave ten minutes earlier for class each morning, but given I would wake up early this wasn’t an issue. What this ensured was that I had time to think, to introspect, and to do things at my own pace rather than let other things drive my life.
In January this year I went off Twitter. Twitter was being too much of a time sink, and was taking too much mindspace so i decided to get off. the abstention lasted a month. I sought to make a ‘limited comeback’ in February so that I could plug my pieces in Mint, among other things. However, that soon turned into a full-scale comeback and in the last month or two I’ve been looking at twitter while trying to put myself to sleep, and again as soon as I wake up.
So I’ve decided once again to slow things down. I’m off twitter and facebook. I hope this one will last longer than my last attempt. The reason this time is a combination of the time sink that these networks were proving to be and the overall negativity that was being transmitted through these networks – facebook has stopped being a place where people share photos and quirky messages – it’s all outrage and flame wars there. Twitter has always been that way. I realized these were affecting me negatively to a significant extent, and so I’m off.
So far there have been no withdrawal symptoms, but I’m formulating a policy for that. If there’s something I want to say, there are two ways I’m going to say it in – I’ll either expand and elaborate and write a blog post ( you are likely to see more action on this blog and on my other two blogs in the next few months), or I’ll decide which specific person I want to tell what I wanted to tell, and tell that person! Broadcast is simply a waste of time.
My policy as of yesterday afternoon:
- No twitter
- No facebook
- More email
- More google hangouts
- More whatsapp
- More phone calls
- More reading books
- More writing blogs
And hopefully I can even resume on that book of which I’ve only written the preface.
I returned last night from a walk, and instinctively reached for my phone to check twitter and facebook. And then realized those two apps have been uninstalled. I wanted to switch on my PC and just “generally be online”. But then realized that most of my “generally being online” was to be online on twitter and facebook. With those two out, there was no use of “being online”.
And then I saw my kindle, and spent the next four hours continuing a book I’d left midway a month back. I woke up this morning and switched on the computer, and have been “generally online” but reading emails and writing blogs. I like this already, and hope this can sustain.
Last week someone told me that I’m a “natural blogger”. The meaning of this term wasn’t clear to me until he said “I assume you can write a blog post in like 45 minutes?” 45 minutes is the upper end of the time i take to write a blog post. I normally do one in 20. Maybe it’s a sign and I should get back to doing more of this.
PS: This also means that the only way I can talk to you, the reader, is through the comments section of this blog. I promise to be more responsive here and engage in a conversation.