I’m a fan of digital detox. I use an app to detox. What a time to be alive.

On November 29th, Sri Lanka was right in the middle of a mighty storm. We lost electricity. My phone had to be in ultra power saving mode. Survived more than 24 hour power outage because there was a fully loaded power bank with me.

Electricity is the mother of luxury.

We went back in time to 19th century and lit a candle.

We had dinner early and were bored. With parents, we sat around a candle and talked. It was different. We were devoid of greasy political topics and cricket gone sour stories, because TV could not intrude our space. I read 2 books. I started sketching on my note book. Yeah, the physical one with real white papers. My wife told me she had one of the most engaged evenings with me in a long while. ‘you would have been on the phone, if not for this outage’. See, even with my frequent detoxes. I should improve.

It meant we went to bed early. Chaos brings nice things too. I don’t know if I would try electricity detox in future. All I have to do is to pull the trip switch down. May be. It sounds wicked. It was a good evening though.

As iron is eaten away by rust, so the envious are consumed by their own passion.
Jealousy emerges in different flavours, blinding us to take harmful action that breeds negativity, blame and lethargy.
In teams, it robs of valuable time, saps aspirations and crushes imagination. It hinders innovation of our society, finally of the entire country.
Instead of evaluating ideas for its merits, we get comfortable with comparing people, passing blames and dropping the ball. No one takes responsibility to get things done. Trust is rusted until we eat each other out.
Opposite of jealousy is working on myself. How I become better each passing day physically, mentally and emotionally. When I am happy and confident, naturally I’m inclined to spread the same to people around me.
Jealousy is the rust of the mind. Look out for it.

I needed to print something. One quoted Rs.63 per print. The other an astonishing Rs. 10 per print.

Rs. 63 had 3 nicely dressed receptionists in air conditioned room to serve me. Their role was to elaborate  the process of what it takes to print in this best place in town to print something. Nice fake smiles, no queues, treated as if I was so important to them. They talked to me looking at a price list.

Rs. 10 had no receptionist. No AC. There was a queue. The printers talked to me direct. They explained how to get the best quality with in a reasonable price on the day I wanted to get them. They smiled briefly in between important details. They worked the final price pecking on a calculator. I knew what I was paying for. Deal.

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Me vs Apps competing for attention : pic credit

 

I told you about my 24 hour digital detox. And I promised I will explain how I block specific apps on my phone. The app I use to block apps (Cliched!) is “Appblock“.

Previously I used to uninstall facebook and twitter on phone and then reinstall. It is painful not just because of the reinstalling process, but I have to manually do the setting changes for like: disable video auto play, data consumption setting , etc etc, on each of the apps. It was a mind bottle neck for my worthy pursuit of digital detox. A simple search on web, and I found App block. It is super easy. I can have many profiles. Ex: I can have a profile for FB and twitter and I can have profile that includes all social media + email + chat + you name any app.

Isn’t it cool? Once I’ve done with my profiles it’s a matter of clicking on them to activate app block. Also, I can lock a profile after its activated. If I want to unlock, I can’t do it, unless I connect my phone to a charger. Very cool. Lot of barriers before you can get back in. It makes me super focused. Have a look at this video.

 

I tried the free version and I was super happy, went on to purchase the premium version at LKR 675/- ( $4.5 roughly). There are many alternatives in the play store.

Block your apps away ! Have fun.

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pic credit

For the past 2 weeks, I formed a new habit. Once in a week, I’ll have a 24 hour vacation from facebook and twitter. Which means one day out of a 7 day week, I’ll be out of facebook and twitter. I questioned my self and got the answers. Here they are.

Q: Why just facebook and twitter? Why not email and chat apps?

facebook and twitter are the most addictive time wasters for me. Keeping a tab on that is really digital detox for me.

Q: How do you select the day ?

I select the day I can afford to be off the grid. I select the day I have to be off the grid. Which means the day I need to be full productive ( Or fully reflective) and also the day I can afford to be offline, which is when I feel people will need lesser interaction with me. This requires judgement. I also mention that I am going offline in a post on both FB and twitter.

Q: How do you really stay out of it. What’s the process ?

In my laptop I activate self control app for 24 hours. In my mobile I uninstall both FB and twitter apps. That’s it. I have no access to FB and twitter now.

Q: Uninstalling apps and installing again, isn’t that a pain?

Yes, it is. That’s why I found this wonderful app Appblock. More about that in a post later.

Q: What do you gain out of this. ?

I love FB and twitter. I learn a lot from people. I have the chance to promote my work. I can get help. I can reach out to people. With out FB and twitter I cannot imagine what would it be like to do the work I do.

But, there comes a time, that I cannot just let go off the phone to browse even at the slightest opportunity. That is when I know I need a detox. Then I plan the work and go offline. It’s just 24 hours. It’s not that much of a time for me to miss anything worthwhile in the internet. But it’s a more than enough time period for me to detox and come back fresh.