We Are Slaves To Our Gadgets

The devil in disguise

Am working on an important presentation and Outlook shows me a small pop-up to notify me of an email that has just come in. I glance at it and decide not to answer it at the moment, the presentation is far more important. Three minutes later, the phone chimes to tell me someone has replied to my tweet – once again breaking my chain of thought.

Disturbingly enough, if this sounds like your life, don’t worry. Possibly all of us digital natives are facing this problem. Our lives are rushing past us and our gadgets are increasingly increasingly getting more and more of our attention! Its not just our Push-enabled phones and applications that are to blame, even websites are becoming major time-sinks! Even going to Google these days shows you a big red notification in the top-right corner!

While there is no running away from this (the tech pundits say that in 2yrs time, we will all be watching Friends* and messaging friends from the TV), here are some things I did to improve the situation:

Switched-off Push notifications – Whatever the apps are notifying me about, it was not important. Facebook updates, Tweets, Path updates, LinkedIn updates, and Gmail. I didn’t stop using these apps. I just use them when I want to. So far, no one’s died because I replied to them 6 hours later.

Put all messages on silent – Now my phone only rings when someone calls. Yes, I do feel the urge to keep checking my phone for messages I may have missed, but that is waning.

Switched off notification emails – I didn’t need those “ABC has written on your wall” type of messages! Seriously!! Switched those emails off for practically every social service I am a member of.

Delayed email/ social media websites checking – I now check Gmail, Facebook and Twitter only after the most important task of the day is completed. This way, there is incentive to complete tasks sooner too!

Is there anything else that can be added to this list? What are your Ninja skills to take back your life?

*I hate Friends on multiple levels. I hate it from the core of my being and yet, I believe that for generations to come, Friends will remain popular. I will never understand why.

j j j

Facebook buys Rediff’s DealsHoJaye. This. Changes. Everything!!

…the above headline isn’t true, but I wrote it only to illustrate the crazy levels of fanboy-ism associated with the technology space today. This is going to be a rant, you have been warned.

Over the last few months, I have noticed that people go absolutely bonkers over some silly and frankly sometimes non-relevant news from the technology space.


See this tweet on my left? I wont tell you whom it was from but the person who wrote it is very well followed on Twitter. I still don’t understand why a business deal between Nokia and Microsoft is SUCH A BIG DEAL! The companies were into making phones and operating systems – nothing will change. Nor will it be game changing. Besides, 3 months down the line, we all know that nothing spectacular seems to have happened here.

Let me give you another example, imagethe person who wrote the tweet on the right runs a very popular blog for entrepreneurs. When I saw it, I thought was – What. The. Fuck. Some stupid tit-for-tat war of words between 2 companies is what you live for?

I fear that we have become a bunch of retards – we, the children of the Internet. We even spend our weekends looking at twitter timelines, and then regret our lives not being interesting.

Its been 3 months now, I have made a conscious decision to switch off from all the technology; to give it less importance in my life. I have become a more private person and I would rather meet you in a coffee shop than chat with you online. I have aimlessly walked the roads around my house and I have noticed so many things I didn’t know existed! There is actually a world out there and there are interesting people to meet and talk to who are way better than interacting with a 3-yr old profile picture.

I am hoping to find balance.

j j j