I realised the depth of my dependency upon the Internet and digital gadgets after my smart-phone went defunct.
First, the mobile came as a magic device that connected me to people through voices. It was for this function that people started carrying mobiles.
Slowly and gradually, the mobile phone largely displaced watches, calculators, calendars, dictionaries, and what not. Because the mobile became a package of everything, and after the app developers came mushrooming in, virtually nothing seemed impossible through taps and swipes. The Internet sublimely supplemented smart phones in their splendour.
Instead of using my own brain, I unknowingly shifted the memory storage to the mobile phone. I could very clearly remember the phone numbers of at least ten people close to me when there was no mobile.
Now, I try very hard but can’t recall the phone numbers of anyone except my own. When I go shopping in a grocery store, while paying the bills, I have to take out my mobile to open its calculator. I make plans about my apparel and day routine according to the weather forecast displayed on my phone. When I am alone, I play music, word puzzles and online games.
When I have friends, I play ludos or PUBG in group. So, lonely or not, a mobile always comes handy.
It’s been years since I stopped watching television. It is because YouTube has dynamic features that I can play any time on my mobile. I don’t have to always sit in front of the television screen kept in the living room. I can watch it while riding a bus or in leisure classes with my friends. Since a single tap gets you to be audio-visually connected with your cousin living in London, no one feels forlorn and away. Come morning, and you just download the e-papers to read the dailies with a digital swipe.
You want to dine in a nice eatery or cook a new cuisine, just ask Google Assistant or Shiri.
The mobile has entered the house of humanity like a combo machine that can perform everything from scanner to editor, listener to speaker, recorder to camera, spy to flashlight, so forth and so on.
Yes, life is easy when I have a phone. And I can’t live even a single day without it now. Was it a self-felt need or was it coerce-fully laden into my life even if I didn’t need it? Or, in some way I think, I started to carry a mobile before I needed it, and without it life is all dark in FOMO.
A version of this article appears in print on February 07, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.