No! I don’t smoke or drink or am not into any other weird stuff that the title of this post might help you imagine. I am an Internet junkie. I can, and, I do spend hours online, most of the times doing stuff that does not ahem qualify as ‘value-adding’. School got me used to 24 hours of high speed Internet. Post-graduation, I found myself in a big city where people were hard to come by. In these testing times the WWW was my only solace. My work in the tech-sector only further fostered this friendship and I guess I never realized when we became almost inseparable. Granny’s rants fell on deaf ears, dad’s disapproving look was quickly dismissed and mom’s Gandhigiri also failed to instigate a change. Like every addict, I was aware of my addiction and its ill-effects; yet I wasn’t doing anything about it and I liked to think I was helpless.
New Year’s time is usually a good time to take stock of life and make amends. It is during this reflective juncture that I happened to read this quote. Write it down. Written goals have a way of transforming wishes into wants, can’ts into cans; dreams into plans and plans into reality. Don’t just think it – ink it. It made sense, and so I penned all the do’s and don’ts and proclaimed it to the entire world here. Most New Year resolutions never go past the first few weeks of the New Year; so a research article claimed. It partially attributed the failure to the fact that the goals are not SMART goals. A quick look at my list and I realized that I needed to be more specific. With a long weekend on my holiday calendar I decided to take some real steps towards tackling my addiction. I promised myself that I would stay away from the Internet for 3 days. Talking about resolutions makes you stick to them, I’d heard; so I dashed a quick “Miss Me” note to some friends telling them about my resolve.
I lingered in the living room after dinner. “What’s the matter today? Aren’t you going to surf?” Granny asked mischievously. I was about snap back; “No I am going to be off it for 3 whole days and spend time with you instead.” I proudly announced. We chatted for a while before turning in. Yess! I had made a start; I congratulated myself. “What’s the username for our Internet connection? Have you changed the password?” - Dad. “There let me help you with that.” I promptly offered jumping out of bed. I was tempted to have a quick look at my email as I got him connected, but checked myself. “You will have to watch out for these weak moments for the next 3 days. They will be waiting to pounce on you at every corner.” I reminded myself.
Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. I sure felt great as I awoke to the sounds of the birds early the next morning. Chai-walk with Granny-jog-meditation was to be my morning ritual for the next 3 days. Gone was the feeling of “I need more sleep”, the dark circles and moi’s beauty gained a new dimension. As Dad busied himself with some work, I pulled out my lappy. “I am going to play you music over the Internet” I suggested enthusiastically. All I got is a cold stare to which I succumbed. Ah! Another small victory. Temptation usually comes in through a door that has been deliberately left open. Remembering this, I gave my lappy a goodbye kiss and tucked it safely into the laptop bag. This bag then went into my sister’s wardrobe. Out of sight, out of mind – I hoped this would work for me. The first day was really tough, every few hours I was seized by a strong urge to pull out lappy, hook it up and surf. Those times I tried to divert my attention by reading. One way in which the Internet has taken its toll on me is – lessened concentration. So reading didn’t come so easily too, but I just kept at it. “This would make a great story.” I thought and started observing my moods and thoughts more closely. Saturday (2nd day) went by smoothly; I was travelling and out of home all day. By Sunday I had sort of gotten used to not starting my day by booting the lappy. I busied myself with some household chores.
By the end of Sunday night however I was bursting to tell everybody what a good girl I had been. So out I pulled lappy dear and woohoo I was connected…
Looking back the 3 day abstinence worked out well for me. I felt relaxed and satisfied that I had not splurged my holidays. I think I am going to practice this more often….