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The joy of disconnecting

india Updated: Nov 16, 2010 14:53 IST
Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan
Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan
Hindustan Times
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So, I moved recently. And I want to warn you, this is not a column on tips about getting technology and the Internet to work for you. This is more like my complete failure to do either of those things. Consider it a cautionary tale. Now that that’s established, let’s look at what happened to me, and how you can avoid it.

For the past week and a half, I have been without the internet. Have you ever had to do without the thing that makes you money just when you actually need the money? My job is writing. From home. I chose the comforts of home over the security of an office and the price I have to pay is this: everything depends on me. Days of calling various internet service providers brought me no luck. I had moved to an exceptionally popular area, I was told, and all their connections were full up.

InternetSo what’s a girl to do? To begin with, I started the internet on my phone. But then quickly found that there are some things that will completely stump me, one of which is trying to send a document attachment from the email on my cell. I just couldn’t figure it out. I tried saving it just about everywhere, and still, my phone refused to register it. A couple of days went by, and slowly, something began to dawn upon me. Not having the internet is painful, that’s true, but it freed up so much of my time! Suddenly, I had all eighteen waking hours, to do with as I wished.

Apart from an hour or two at a cyber café whenever deadlines presented themselves, I was wireless. And techless. And like the self help books said, disconnecting (even partly) can go a long way in rejuvenating you. It’s been like a week in detox. I read a lot more, went for more walks, managed to redecorate an entirely empty apartment, and in the few hours I did have the internet: got all my mails read and answered, made a couple of new work contacts and generally used my time productively.

So this week’s geek chic tip? Disconnect for a little while. Maybe try going a day or two using the net only for essentials. You’ll see how much more you can get done in your day. As for me, yes, I’m going to get the internet soon enough, but I’m going to try and do what I do now.

Meenakshi writes a blog at thecompulsiveconfessor.blogspot.com.