My me time.
Firstly I should apologize. Both to myself and my (pitiably low :P ) readership. I have been unable to update my blog in over a month now despite a resolution (much before New Years) to the contrary.
My reasons are so painfully cliched that I will not bother you with the details. I have just been busy.
Working in a leading tech-firm such as Nvidia is an awesome experience for anyone who has even a passing interest in tech. Add to that a super fast internet, amazing collection of online resources and good coffee , then there really is no reason to leave the office! It is no secret that the top companies in the world of tech such as Google prefer their employees spending as much time as possible within office premises. To enable this, they provide every conceivable home-comfort right at your desk!
This post, alas, is not about office comforts at Nvidia. Instead I would like to share a startling revelation that struck me mid-way into last week.
The past couple of weeks had been rough. There was a lot of work and a LOT of meetings. And in between meetings, there was a ton of prep material to go over so that I could add my 2 cents to the meetings. Apart from this, I had my usual work load which suddenly started demanding a lot of preparation time. All this distilled down into my staring into a computer/phone/tablet screen for ~15 hours a day. If we add the dreams I dreamt about buying a macbook air and that number will go even norther.
Staring at a computer screen can strain ones eyes badly. I particularly take care not to over-strain my eyes by taking plenty of coffee/ping-pong breaks in between. But working on a computer is NEVER just working! There is always my browser on with ~20 tabs open including the staples - facebook, twitter, quora. Also in the Always Open list are my favorite news sites such as BBC and The Verge. A Wikipedia Random Article loop runs through my browser every few hours. So there is that. Also open are the gamut of blogs that I follow.
As if only appealing to my visual senses were not enough, I am also on grooveshark for most of the day. If not online, my itunes will always be up and running.
In between all this information overload, I work. And in between work, I also perform my 'truly random' browsing.
After a long work day, I used to come back home, power on my laptop and the same routine began. Except, replace the work segments with Youtube.
I love assimilating information. It does not matter if I will never need that titbit of info, I simply must know it! And the Internet gives me plenty and more. But occasionally, even for a news-junkie like me, the Internet starts to become overwhelming!
That irritating itch to constantly check my facebook newsfeed, my twitter tweet-reel, my quora top answers page can become crushingly painful. There can come a point when one's life starts to seem more 'virtual' than a physical, living, breathing, crying and laughing entity.
I hit that point mid-way through last week.
Stung by that realization, I drastically told myself to stay off the Internet (except for work, STRICTLY work) for a month. Within an hour, I broke my own word. The truth is without the Internet, we are all diminished people. If I tried reading the newspaper, without the internet, I can comprehend maybe 50% of the articles. With the Net, that number zooms to +80%. So if you want to do something well, the Net is a must today.
The next day, I watered down my previous resolution into a very simply worded sentence.
'For the next one month, before going to bed, I shall read. No phone. No tablet. No computer. No internet. Just me and my book. Whatever I do not understand, I will note down for future clarification.'
I decided to rekindle an old school-days habit of mine to combat my Net-affliction.
I will not lie. It was not a hard resolution to upkeep. I enjoy reading and I can comfortably keep off the Net for an hour. I have been resolutely following this self-mandate for close to a week now and things are looking good :)
I am starting to notice some really interesting things emerging from this experiment which I hope to share with you all in my next post. (Hopefully within a few days!)