Our lives seem to have radically changed with the advent of the smartphone. Personally speaking, I liked the dumb phone (the one with the typing keypad) much better. I still have one which I would love to carry with me to work had there not been a prevalent tendency all over my country to communicate important notices and documents via Whatsapp. That is an application that I detest from the core of my heart, but that is another completely different story. Coming back to the main point, I feel that this constant communication and over-dependence on the smartphone is making us quite dull and lethargic when it comes to social and official communications.
Unfortunately in India (and I am sure that this phenomenon must be true in other countries as well), there is an increasing tendency to avoid the computer and communicate via the smartphone. Gone are the days when people used to write long letters on dainty stationery, nowadays even the email has become quite a pet peeve for many. I have had a rather tough time convincing my colleagues and students to write emails. Most people are texting away the whole day, be they work related texts or social ones or even festive greetings. No, I do not expect to be surprised by Christmas or New Year cards lying in my mailbox, but at least a virtual card or two over the email would have been nice. On the contrary I have to remain satisfied with greetings over Whatsapp and other messengers. This can indeed be frustrating for someone like me who prefers thoughts expressed in solitude over letters and emails.
In order to keep my brain bright and ticking and not let it get submerged in the quagmire of instant communication, I’ve decided to follow certain rules hereafter.
- Read More Books
Reading definitely increase ones patience as well as the ability to analyse. And who can benefit more from reading than the writer? Reducing activities pertaining to the phone such as watching movies (1 movie per week should be enough), and playing games should be adhered to in order to cultivate a fresh mind.
2. Limit Communications to the Computer
Writing emails and articles helps further in organizing ones thoughts and in responding in a more graceful manner. Posting comments on social media sites (to a news or an event) as well as typing a text on the spur of the moment are usually instant reflex actions. They seldom allow the person communicating to avoid words that might hurt others. Usually in life most of us tend to react than respond. Going old school helps in calming the nerves.
3. Encourage Others to Relax
I have decided to gracefully ask friends and family to limit their texting to the bare minimum and call me more. Hearing a human voice and the emotions that are attached to the same can be both calming as well as joyful in more ways than one. We seem to have become too tied up to this handheld instrument running our lives and relationships.
4. Carry a Book While Commuting
Yes, I’ve decided to avoid looking at the phone or plugging my earplugs in and listening to music while commuting, Both will do nothing more than tie me down to the machine even while I am travelling. On a related note, I wish I could invest in a gramophone in order to listen to vinyl records being played within the solitude of my apartment.
5. Jotting Down Thoughts in a Notebook
I have this habit of jotting my thoughts down in my phone throughout the day. I usually use MS OneNote for the above. However, henceforth I propose to replace the same with a paper notebook and pen. Good for my eyes and my mind.
Going old school can be tough, because we are organisms who are prone to being socially conditioned. However, I have decided to go back to the good old days of being “disconnected” from the world. The good old days when a bulky black rotary dial phone used to grace the precincts of our living room and the whole household would know who was calling whom.
Wish me luck folks ! Till I scribble again.
Au revoir !