8 Ways to Digital Detox

When was the last time you did not see a screen in front of you and feel comfortable with yourself?
Be it your dearer-than-life smartphone, or your precious lappy/tab. And, if those were not enough the idiot box comes in to complete the picture. Speaking for myself, I'd say it is only a couple of seconds without these gadgets and my mind goes back to the most accessible of them all, my cellphone. The focus on whatever I was doing breaks like a spell right then and there, as I open my little window to the world, and its incessant updates, a lot of them that I could do without but I still absorb all the needless chatter.

The recent riots related to the Patidar issues in Gujarat, left us stranded without internet in the state, with the government deciding to control rumour-mongering that was happening through this media. Well, like anything you are habituated to, this ban on internet did hit us hard. But as we settled to the idea of not being accessible all the time, the next few days seemed like bliss. Things that one seemed to have forgotten doing in the past few years slowly made their way to the forefront. Small things that made a big difference in our day-to-day lives.

Gone are the days when we could just sit around in the warmth of our easy camaraderie and enjoy the simple joys of human company. With each of us immersed in our own private hell social media world we do not for a second realize that even as we're seated besides each other, lost in an unreal world within our screens, we have distanced ourselves into a cocoon of loneliness that most of us do not even have an inkling of.
Armed with this self-realization, these days I make small attempts to get away from this madness in small spurts. Still a long way to go, but the realization itself is an eye-opener. Here are some small pointers that I'm resorting to that might probably help all of us who are bereft of quality time:


Simple measures but they have added hours of quality moments to my normally packed days. I now have time to savor the juicy flavors of my food, to observe, listen and converse with real people around me, admire that tiny yellow wildflower sitting amidst the lush greenery of weeds, decipher the meaning of what the chirping birds are trying to tell me, mull on the depth of the lyrics of the soulful music I listen to, soak in the pastel hues of the setting evening sun, and get lost in the intriguing thoughts of my book's characters - the one that I'm reading and the one that I'm writing (yes...this routine sure has put some of my priorities firmly in place!).

A rare click on my way home.
As I type this post on my phone (I need to stop this too!) lying next to my sleeping son, his soft breathing tempts me to break away from the noise of the screen yet again, and just be. Wanting to enjoy this moment of quietude...this moment of nothingness...of each other's calm company outside the screen. The way it used to be.

My favorite scent of life.