I took my 'annual' break at Deewali this year, and decided to stay completely out-of-touch from the internet. Here are my experiences. Some of them might be super-obvious:
- The information superhighway with all its hustle and bustle combined with the fast-paced lifestyles of our times can give rise to some problems unforeseen in the previous times. For instance, there have been reports of 'withdrawal symptoms' in Facebook addicts.
- Taking a detour from this overcrowded noisy road is not only useful, but most definitively necessary every once in a while.
- 'Normal' people don't spend their days and nights checking Twitter and Hacker News streams.
- One sad realization: Facebook has become the 'high point' in some people's otherwise mundane lives, and hence, is acting as a drug.
- There is humongous amounts of information being generated every second with the democratization of publishing media and the internet. As a result, the signal-to-noise ratio has gone down tremendously. And sites like Facebook with their revenue generation mechanisms aren't helping.
- It is almost impossible to believe that it was no longer than 7-8 years ago when we didn't have to 'stay forever connected' and yet had fulfilling lives and relationships. I have reasons to believe that was good for a lot of reasons, for example, debates on some topics could last for hours without having a clear sense of 'right directions'. Now most of the topics that you can do such debates on are the eternal ones, like philosophy or religion.
Overall, it was fun taking a break. I intend to take more of these shut-offs going forward (lasting weekends, for instance).