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Confessions of a rampant dataholic

Brand stories Updated: Feb 06, 2017 14:58 IST

Youngsters listening to radio / FM on their cellphones(Puneet Chandhok, HT Photo)

Most of my shopaholic friends would go lengths for a freebie, even visiting several malls just to pick up free samples of cosmetics. But a more recent and large addition to my gang are the newly-born dataholics whose lives revolve around, “Yaar, wifi password kya hai, I need free data” to “Shoot I am about to consume all my data, my life is over”. Their primary life goals include an endless search for saving data, faster download speeds and unobstructed connectivity.

The helplessness that descends when the internet connection is broken is both dramatic and bewildering. The cringing when videos buffer, the panic when you can’t connect with a taxi app, the colourful language when the payment gateway crashes; we’ve all been there. Here are a few fun confessions of people caught on the wrong side of their data limit.

1. I Hate Waiting

And I am putting it mildly. It therefore doesn’t help that I am a lawyer. From waiting inside court to waiting for judgements to clients showing up (thought I get to charge them for that); life often feels like one long painful journey of waiting. So when it comes to other areas of my life, such as watching videos on my phone or downloading all kinds of content, the LAST thing I want to do is wait. I seek instant gratification and I make sure that I get it. Last week for instance, I heard a song from Dangal on the radio and fell head over heels in love. I reached court and started streaming the song on repeat. Aware that the data will soon run out, I took a ‘Passover’ for my case, exited the court room and headed straight for my favourite café with free wifi and delicious coffee.

Dharini Sharma is 27 years old. She is a practicing lawyer at Delhi Courts.

2. The Manipulator

My smartphone is the most hated commodity at home. But humans are inherently selfish. So when I installed Google maps and the Uber app on my parents’ phones, their sudden interest in technology was both amusing and guilt laden. The Uber feature of following my ride got my dad super excited and I overheard him telling his friends proudly, ‘My daughter’s is safety is my priority and now I can follow her when she’s in a cab”. This also led to my dad upgrading the wifi plan at home. And suddenly a window of massive opportunity opened. I explained to my dad (explained being the operative word) that for me to always stay connected with him, especially when I’m on the move in a taxi, I must have a decent data plan. Two days later I upgraded my data plan on my mobile and my father lovingly reimbursed me.

Gangika Mehra is 23 years old and spends her time as a lifestyle blogger and freelance writer.

3. Insta-Gratification

I am not big on selfies, never have been, but last year I came across an Instagram ‘celebrity’ whose life revolves around herself. And the urge to compete suddenly surfaced. I love taking pics, and I could now get famous at the same time. My phone is my lifeline and I click the mundane, the inspiring, my friends, my food, my dog (Chippy), my family, my many expressions and moods. It’s my part time hobby which is now slowly garnering quite a fan following of its own. For me data constrains won’t work and I am constantly seeking the best data packs from my service provider. It allows me to indulge in what my family calls a ‘whimsical fad’ and also offers a glimpse into my city and life to followers from other countries. I find it both fun and gratifying. Can’t say if I’ll ever become an online celebrity, but for now, it’s a perfect creative outlet.

Lavanya Mehra is a 21 year old student at an Arts College in Delhi.

4. Retail Therapy

After spending years cracking jokes at women and their ‘Retail Therapy’, I finally understand what the fuss is all about. Spending hours in a mall bore me, and shopping was usually never more than a weekend chore. But this was before I discovered e-commerce. It started with finding the best deal on the newest mobile phone, but then it went to appliances, furniture, and as more psychological barriers dropped, to clothes as well. I admit that this is now veering towards an addiction, but it’s a big release for me after a long working day crunching numbers. I look forward to that half an hour of me-time before dropping off to sleep. I have about 15 of the retailer apps on my phone, and in fact I bought a new phone recently just to upgrade the memory. But, I have a new problem now. Most of these apps are data heavy and while my 4G connection allows me to watch product demo videos in high quality, I often end up exhausting my data limit a week before the billing cycle ends. The last week of the month now gets very boring. I really need to solve this soon.

Vikramaditya Singh is 35-years-old and a Mumbai-based banker.

5. Game Boy

I have to win every computer game! I have beaten all my friends hollow at every game imaginable, since middle school, when we started playing. I’m not gloating here, it’s just a fact. Ask them. I have never cared much for mobile gaming. It’s meant for non-gamers. Anyone can ‘tap tap tap’ and win, but it takes quality to tame a controller or keyboard. But when this one friend of mine kept challenging me to ‘Clash of Clans’, after a while his constant badgering drove me to actually care about his ‘challenges’. I was determined to humiliate him. So I installed the game, and spent hours getting my clans to completely wipe out his. I was successful, but along with his clans, I also wiped out my data limit. My phone bill for that month performed a Mortal Kombat style ‘Fatality’ on my wallet. The sweet taste of victory came with a bitter layer. Now that I have embraced mobile gaming, I am in search for a really affordable and reliable data plan. Victories should not be so expensive.

Avirup Bandhopadhyay is 24 years old and works as a graphic designer at a start-up in Bengaluru.

If data limits in your mobile plan have been taking the joy away, Airtel has the perfect solution for you. Switching to Airtel 4G is compelling as ever with Free 3GB Data worth Rs 9,000 for 12 months on top of unlimited all-India calls. The only thing you need to do is move as the offer ends on February 28th.

A recharge of Rs 349 will give prepaid users of 4G handsets 3GB of free data added to their monthly quota of 1GB (50 MB for non-4G handsets). Postpaid users will get free 3 GB data per month available on all MyPlan Infinity Plans in addition to regular plan benefits.

(Names have been changed on request)