commute edition

The metro is at its usual speed. Its busy part of the week and therefore its really crowded. Two girls got on in hurry and one could tell that they were friends as they had just one goal and that was to sit together. Finally after much needed push and pull, they sat next to one another, a sigh of relief, few talks and then they disappeared into abyss.

On the other corner, it got more and more crowded and they stood so close to one another that they could smell each others arm pits. What could they have done ? Reached inside their bags and Whoosh. Off they go.

She was lucky that she got place next to the door. While leaning back at the side walls, she looked at the view from the glass window. But for how long could she do that was a secret no one will ever know. Why? She got on her Time Machine and left.

That lady forgot her earphones or maybe they broke when she was searching for them in her mishy mashy bag. She looked at her phone with sad eyes, gave the secret code but not able to leave. The Time Machine failed her.

This Time Machine or so to speak, our mobile phones have become more powerful than I could have ever imagined. My phone which is now a tik tok time machine that can transport me to some place unknown , pretty, ugly, scary or inspiring in just a matter of one App. Not only me, every one I see are on their phones, watching a series, a movie , a match, a youtuber and the options are really unlimited.

Who wants to be a part of the world anyways. Right?

But, I wonder how were we spending our times pre Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon prime? I know, it was Youtube and the so called era of Torrent downloaded movies. But what about before that? Hmmm, maybe it was headphones and music. What about before that? Like what about the times when our parents were going to far away jobs? I think they were just busy commuting as the transport system was not that convenient back then and now?

Now, its so convenient that you can simply sit in one metro and forget one hour of commute time. Watching something could be fun way to pass the time for sure but I am getting insanely worried about all of us these days, including myself. I see everyone on their phone, like e v e r y o n e. Its not only trying to pass their times, its actually becoming an addict where things are getting out of hand. Some people are changing metros while their complete attention is on their video, some are climbing stairs with one of the apps and some video. But I lost it when I saw a man crossing the road while his gaze was locked at his phone. I am scared. For you and for me.

Is it an epidemic that we are getting at? Why are we so mindless that we have nothing to do in our free time but to catch up some new series or YouTuber? Do we really like these videos we are watching? If yes, then go for it but I feel it’s not the case of being passionately involved in some videos. It’s actually we trying to forget our bad day at work, fight with a loved one or our issues which seems difficult to resolve. You know, I am no different than any one of you as lately even I was getting drowned in all these wonderful movies, stories and lives but recently last week, honestly, I felt nauseous in metro while watching something on Netflix. It was like my body wanted to throw up because of over load of video time. It could have been my neck which was bent for too long or it was just too much of everything. But you know when you abruptly stop watching your phone, you feel like something is wrong with you as everyone around you is looking down at their cellphone screens. I was sad to see this. Really.

Also, something I realized and felt sort of bitter sweet is when I saw my watch history. I have never seen these many movies/series/videos in my entire childhood that I might have seen in last 1 year. And why I ask myself? Well, there is no dearth of reasons actually. Too much stress, too little stress, health problems, family trouble, boyfriend trouble or girlfriend trouble. Anything , just about anything will evaporate in clouds for that 2 hours when you watch something on your app.

Food for thought: Ever calculated the actual time that is used in all this? Let’s say you spend 1 hour each side on metro or bus or cab. So daily, 2 hours and in 21 days ( days you go to office in a month) it will be 42. Which is equivalent to 1.75 days extra in your life.

“Instant Gratification at its best.”

Hence, a decision had to be made and had to be made soon. So, after I completed watching my favorite and much awaited “Stranger Things Season 3”, I decided that there is nothing else left to watch. I have to stop. period. Hence, for next 6 months I am taking a challenge of –

. No Binge Watching

. Can watch one thing on one weekend afternoon

But you may ask – How to actually do this? What should be done when the world is watching something so seriously that you are also tempted? I am not going to say cliched gyan that “Find a Passion”. Yeah, you are passionate about basketball so should you play basketball while on Metro? So how to use the commute time to your advantage and be successful at quitting?

  1. Delete the apps – Yes really easy thing to do BUT make sure that you change your download settings to “WiFi”only so you won’t get tempted to download the app while you are on metro. I would suggest that go one step ahead if you know you can’t hold yourself – downgrade your phone plan which provides basic internet service.
  2. Make watching videos a prize – Do small challenges for yourself. Like if you finish 100 pages of that book then you can watch one video you had been waiting to watch. Or, if you walk the entire stairs by quitting escalators then you can watch a video.
  3. Make plans to use the available time – Call friends/family when in network (though it sometimes gets annoying so I take my words back). Text/whatsapp your friends and family with whom you are failing to keep in touch. Read a book is a classic and doable activity. Work on your Instagram feed (but again do not make this your addiction) etc
  4. Explore other apps – Yes my friend. There are plethora of apps which you can use to pass your time. Now, wait a minute, I am not suggesting candy crush. Please. I am suggesting you to explore what else is out there. Have you ever listen to a Podcast? Try as its interesting and might learn something new. I would love to suggest #myindianlife on #spotify to begin with. A reading app? A free online learning app? Sudoku? Chess? You name it and you get it.
  5. Enjoy the video – ofcourse, if you want to watch then make it count.

Or maybe you do not want to quit and think that you are not an addict. But ever thought of challenging yourself? I love doing it and it has always lead me to something nice, even in failure. Try challenging yourself to not watch any video for a month? lets see where it leads you. Let’s #quitbeingmindless

One Response

  1. Nice post 🙂 Definitely something that’s near to my own heart. I’ve found one of the best ways to motivate yourself to stay off of your phone is to remind yourself to look around once in a while and observe………everyone else with their heads down, buried into their phones.

    It’s usually not a very inspiring picture, so it’s motivation to be part of the solution, and not part of the problem.

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