Monday, 11 February 2013

Should we take a break from technology once in a while?

I was with a bunch of friends earlier today morning, returning from a friend's (new) home. It's Chinese New Year in this part of the world, and almost everyone is taking off to spend time home, with family and friends. Shops are closed, buses are more empty, people are dressed in red, kids are happy to hold their parents hands on a monday morning, aunties are visiting their sweetheart temples, and families are meeting.

Yet, people like us who are away from families and who don't really celebrate the new year, need to be fed. We scampered to get breakfast at a mall and by the time we were done, I was impatient to leave for home. In an impulse, assuming my friends will join me I walked towards the MRT. I even got on the train before looking back to see if they were behind.

That's when I realized they were not around, and interestingly, my phone was out of charge. I could not tell them I was gone. This absence of technology put me in stress for a good 2 minutes. Thankfully, I asked two friendly parents for help, on the MRT, and texted one of my friends. Like the guy nicely put it, "I was feeling like a fugitive" till they were kind enough to let me use their phone. Later, I made conversation with an aunty looking chic in her red dress. She even welcomed me to come back to Singapore, if India was not doing so well in the future.

I was so happy that I made random conversations with people. Normally, I would have been texting or playing SuDoKu - keeping to myself.

My grandfather would make conversation on public transport always. Who even does that anymore? For all you know, you might come off as weird, if you try anything like that. The general buzz in the air this weekend, and this morning especially, makes me think of the real-person-time we spend.

Yes, "There is another person on another train on the other end of the phone", like a friend put it. Yet, I am tempted to imagine a distraction less life. I want to try shutting out technology for an hour atleast every day; instead, spend it with a person. And, make a habit out of it. Let's see!

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