The Offline Experiment

Online Life

How long can you stay offline? Recently I asked myself this question. And the answer was surprising to discover! But why did I go offline? There was an unpleasant incident and I wanted to unwind. Hence I went offline. But after a (very short) while I decided to make it a study. And that lead to a lot of new things that I learnt. Let us discuss this today

Online Life

Initially being offline was very calming and I felt like I was in silent heaven. No noise, no chatter and no compulsions to like and reciprocate anything. I was not telling the world where I was and what I was doing. That felt really good. I actually felt like I was meditating. I could feel time standing still and all I could feel was bliss. And then the phone rang…

“Dude, I posted something and I need at least 75 likes more to meet my target” , that was my friend on the line. He was doing a campaign for a major client and he needed numbers to make his bread. Come to think of it, so did I! I called my friends on phone and somehow got them to like his post/update, all along not breaking my decision to stay offline. And when he thanked me for helping to meet his target, I felt really good. Maybe offline helps results!

I went to McDonald’s and started munching on a Chicken Masala Grill, all the while mentally patting myself on the back.  And it happened again! My trusty android phone started playing the Pink Panther Theme, that was a client, a paying one! For a freelancer, that is the very definition of miracle! Although it wasn’t a video call, I adjusted my shirt and put the burger down before picking it up. Old habits die hard! (And I felt as old as baa on Kyunki … now!)

“Shakthi, the numbers are lower than the agreed ones, there are just three days between now and the review, what do we do?”, this time the client was a new food outlet in Bangalore who was trying to create traction online for his discount coupons on specific fast foods. He was talking about his twitter landing page that we were using as a rough indicator of where the campaign was going. The hits were lower than expected and if not fixed, the campaign would land flat on it’s face!! Not to mention the fact that conversion were suffering too.

Now what? All that back patting? Well, I was still adamant. I told myself that I would look only at this page and see what was wrong, fix it and log off without looking at any of my Social Media profiles! Yes! That way, technically I would still be offline! I was in awe of my own capacity to solve problems! I felt like a rookie Wall Street pro after that major first deal with a major client making a major kill – a major high! Before the high passed, I got to work!

I powered on my Samsung Notebook and sat down, looked at the client’s issue. fixed it and was about to log off. I heard a voice, it sounded like Loki from the Avengers, “Log on to FB and check once, isn’t that what you want?” “Nope! I do not want that!” ” Heheh! I know you will be online in 5 minutes!” and just to prove Loki wrong, I was online in 2 minutes! I won! Loki lost!

After the customary round of checking all my profiles and updating here and there which took just a few hours, I was in the next confusion, should post something new? There was this great pun that I had in my head and some nice pics on my phone that would be cinch to go with it. It was like a mental itch, I finally gave in to it. Strangely, putting the post together took a couple of more hours,what with having to update stories on every app that I have on my phone without a cross posting tools and as I was posting it on my networks, strangely familiar thought ” Should I go offline for a while?”

Strange feeling of Deja Vu! Tell me, how do you do it?

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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