This blog is inspired by Obesity of the Mind. An analytical mind tells me: if cumulative time spent by the readers is less than the time spent on writing the post, some introspection is required. Better approach, though harder, is to become proficient in writing short and sweet blogs. That is my new goal for future blogs, beginning with this one.

My, so-called, Smartphone went dead on June 1st. We have been under complete lock down since April 11th with only essential services in operations. Could get the phone to work only on June 15th after lock down opened. What fabulous fifteen days I had with an idiot phone? I did have access to Laptop during this period.

Here are the accomplishments in this 15-day period:

  1. Wrote six blogs on this platform (published one of them on June 17th); thanks to several members of this platform for always nudging me to write.
  2. Built a wooden stand for the Money Plant that has been growing steadily in the pot. ( see pic)Gift of a dead smartphone 2
  3. Learnt how to pot a Mint plant by keeping the stem in water till roots sprout. Subsequently, planted them in pot. (see pic)Gift of a dead smartphone 3
  4. Completed Science of Breath: A Practical Guide by Swami Rama and finished three-fourth of The Himalayan Masters: A Living Tradition by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait.
  5. On advice of a friend, became member of Facebook Group “Depression & Anxiety Support Group – India.” Continuing to learn from members and had opportunities to help few. Love the Admin of this group for making sure all members adhere to the terms they signed up for while joining. She also permits a maximum of ten posts per day to have a meaningful participation of members.
  6. Finalized a contract with an upcoming Green Field Institute as a Consultant for a period of three-years. Citing this because the Institute had to move to e-mail from WhatsApp as means of communication with me and, therefore, did cause them some inconvenience.

Once again, an analytical mind provoked me to add up all the WhatsApp messages received from June 1st till 15th when the phone became operational. Can you guess the count! Received, on average of 64.5 messages per day. With conservative estimate of spending 2 minutes of time per message (many are videos), that is 129 minutes (> 2 hours) of time to only browse messages per day. Leave aside time spent to chat and unproductive time spent in checking messages throughout the day, although it may be just my bad habit.

Smartphone has been a huge distraction is my experiential learning. Gave up watching Television two years ago for even stronger reasons. The cliché: maintain a work-life balance now needs to recognize the imbalance caused by information explosion in both – work and life.

My friends and relatives did have some anxious moments as they could not connect with me for few days till I could find a spare phone to enable voice calls.

By the way, this is not the first time that I have spent days without phone. The other one being at Bhojwasa; it was even better since we were totally cutoff from the rest of the World in all aspects. That was bliss and these fifteen days were productive.

Having realized the pitfalls, came up with many features that WhatsApp should have as options for users to receive information that matters to them. Unfortunately, WhatsApp will not develop those features as they are in direct conflict with their business model.

I found my truth of Smartphones. Please share your truth, or ways to use Smartphone productively. Here is one. Learnt from a member of group who checks the messages only once a day, while another member does so only once a week.

Stay Safe, Stay Protected, and Stay Blessed, always.

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