What I learnt from a loss of Internet connection

There are some things that really irritate you in this modern world full of daily digital experiences. Perhaps the most intriguing one for me happened today, when I lost my Internet connection for a few hours right in the middle of my daily online routine. After multiple frantic calls to my service provider that resulted in nothing, I finally got resigned to the fact that the connection may not start anytime soon and somehow I had to reconcile myself with that (seemingly) frustrating fact.

As I sat there staring at the screen of my computer (yes, I still use a desktop PC — vintage but working perfect) I started thinking about what I could do till the time the Internet connection was restored. I decided to watch some videos that I had downloaded earlier but were lying unseen in my external hard drive. What happened next was surprising and fascinating.

Browsing through the hard drive, I noticed that I had lots and lots of stuff that I had collected and saved over many years, some of it I thought I had completely forgotten about, but it was all there, neatly organised in folders and categories, thanks to the gift of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) that makes me a sucker for organizing and sorting stuff. I discovered many old photos that brought back so many memories, some personal videos that captured priceless moments with friends and family, and stuff I had written. Sharing some of that below.

This photo one is a great old moment with one of my childhood friends and was taken with a digital camera almost 10 years ago…

This is a photo taken from my old 2 mega pixel Nokia 6670 phone — with another old friend and my niece, almost a decade ago too….

The next pic is a rare one of the (erstwhile) garden behind my house — from the time when we really cared about plants…

Even the background image of this note is one I had taken on a calm laid back evening at a beach in Goa.

Next is one of my write ups I found — an introductory letter I had written several years ago for a friend who wanted to start his new business…

Every Day is Special
Every day is special, as someone, somewhere is celebrating something special about their lives. Be it birthdays, anniversaries or achievements, people around the world love to celebrate and connect with others. These are days when you share your happiness with your near and dear ones, add value to your relationships, and make manifest the beauty of the human spirit. Celebration is the true expression of humanity and it connects us all in this beautiful journey called life.
Such occasions give us an opportunity to acknowledge our love and respect for the people who are part of our lives. Everyone wants to be remembered on their birthdays, wished on their anniversary, or acknowledged for their achievements. Everyone wants to be treated as a special person — get some cards, flowers, gifts or anything — make that gesture to reach out and touch someone’s heart. Celebrating every occasion makes it a memorable day for all, makes people feel valued, and gives us a sense of belonging.
But in these fast paced times, our lives have become entangled between work, family, recreation & wellness. Our lives have become so hectic that we sometimes forget these special days and the significance they hold. While there is no deliberate intent to forget, the pace of life sometimes disconnects us from the very people we are working so hard for and with. It is in this context that we believe our proposition can allow you to reconnect with your family, friends, & work colleagues.
Only Surprises, a service dedicated to keep the celebration ongoing & touching the heart of every human being. We offer services to celebrate every occasion, including birthdays & anniversaries of employees, corporate achievements, rewarding outstanding contribution, by planning & organizing calendars for large corporate houses. We believe in sharing every special day with people who are a daily part of our lives.
Come, lets celebrate!!

I was thrilled to see all the pictures and read what I had written after so many years! It also reminded me of the multiple compliments I had received from my friend who was impressed by how well I had articulated his business concept.

I had written this concept note many years ago, when we were (thankfully) not so deeply entrenched in the unending deluge of digital experiences, social media mania, virtual inability to avoid daily barrage of emails (work, personal, lists, newsletters et al) and the slavery to a modern life that makes us more disconnected than ever. When my friend met me at that time, we spend a few hours discussing and sharing our lives with each other, after which I was able to pen down the concept note to the best of my ability.

But I wonder — would I be able to do a good job at writing for someone today if the brief is given say, via email? Would I be able to relate to the emotive aspect of my friend’s narrative like I did when we actually spoke to each other face to face? And how and when did I loose that part of my life when there were no gadgets, mobiles, computers, or even TV but I shared a real connection and moments with people I love and care about?

As I continue to write this, the Internet connection is still off and I have closed my browser for the day. I will post this when I come back online.

But I have learned some crucial lessons today only because I was not online:

  • You don’t need to be online religiously each and every day
  • The gadgets and computers we are addicted to make us more disconnected that we realize
  • I have so many wonderful memories that I had conveniently stashed away in an external hard drive instead of my mind
  • I had so much unwanted stuff from the past too, that I was able to clean up from the device and (possibly) my mind
  • Most important — I rediscovered how much I love to write, almost like the Universe showed it with a funny slap on my face by cutting off the online addiction for today!! ☺

So I have kind of begun my writing journey again through this post. Where it leads me — I know not. But I’m glad that being (forcefully) offline was more a revelation than regret.

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