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Disconnect to Connect – Social Media Detox

At Hampi wearing Chimp

Well, I’ve uploaded the images (footnotes) in this blog draft more than an hour ago and I am still pondering over what exactly to write about. I have a lot to write. Where do I begin? May be I should start with an explanation owing to my prolonged absence from this blog, social media, email and phone over the last one week. I quite literally took a break from urban human civilization to spend some time at serene and splendid Hampi village in Karnataka. I travelled to the UNESCO world heritage site to shoot for an upcoming collaboration with Bangalore based fashion designer Paresh Lamba and it just happened that Hampi village isn’t well connected with internet or even mobile network for that matter – which meant no-Blog, no-Emails, no-FB, no-Twitter, no-Insta, no-Whatsapp and not-even-phone-calls! At best, your phone picks up partial mobile network signal at rare intervals and lets you take incoming calls. I self-imposed this absolute digital/social-media detox even without knowing what exactly I was heading for. In my case, the need for social media is beyond the regular #whatidoeveryweekend instagram posts or stalking addiction. I haven’t stayed away from the chaotic cyber world for this long ever since I started my fashion blog 6 years ago. Six years of social media addiction is scary to imagine now but on day-1 at Hampi, the thought of not answering any important e-mail seemed scarier. I use social media for my business and the thought of shutting down to the digital world left me anxious on the first day. I’d helplessly refresh my Gmail app to see no-data-connectivity notification. I was completely disconnected with the virtual world but that meant reconnecting with the real world. By that night, I found myself sitting by a camp fire where there was’t a single mobile phone lying outside. Some were observing the ambience in silence, some talking to each other, a few others playing guitar and singing songs… For a change, people were occupied with people!

It didn’t take much time for me to get accustomed to embrace the solitude induced by absence of digital media. I started spending my time by climbing the rocky hills at Hampi and studying the beautiful rock-cut Deccan architecture of South India.

I started savoring the outdoors. How often does a city dweller gets to enjoy tender coconut water under a tree’s shade next to a river bed? Or how often do we get to go out rowing in a boat? The one below is known as ‘parasal’ in Telugu/Kannada. Parasal is a hand-made basket like round boat made of bamboo sticks.

From making friends with real people to feeling a sense of calmness from within, the disconnect experience made me feel connected to self more than anything else. As the old saying goes, solitude is a deep union with one’s lost self. The quieter it gets, the more you hear. This experience sharpened my awareness of appreciating small pleasures which are otherwise lost & forgotten in our fast-paced lives. Far away from the competitive metropolitan life where we’re busy outdoing everyone including ourselves, Hampi imparted me the virtues of patience and contentment. I learned and earned a lot from the social-media detox experience. In fact, when I returned to Chennai, I didn’t even have any urges to check my phone for notifications. However, I’d be lying if I claim that I didn’t completely regret the experience, especially when it came down as something unplanned. I forgot to set an auto-respond email stating that I am unavailable for a while. I am also guilty of being unable to update some blog articles that I had planned for the week. However, if planned well… the social media detox experience will teach you that the most precious moments in life happen offline.

While I was away at happy-Hampi, it happened that one of my previous blog article titled ‘Monday to Friday Men’s Corporate Dressing Guide‘ was selected in Independent Fashion Bloggers community’s Links a la Mode round up. Find all the top 20 links of the week below:

Links à la Mode, October 15

  1. Anonymous Beauty Blogger: 10 Must-Have Apps For Every Kind of Blogger
  2. Attire Club: The 2015 Men’s Halloween Style Guide
  3. Between the Racks: A Peek at My Day Job | Nuclear Power Edition
  4. Cammeo Head to Toe: Pink on Purpose | Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  5. Fashion, Trends, and More: Fall/Winter 2015 Trend Report | Lace It Up
  6. fash Up with Shivani: 10 Ways to Wrap a Scarf
  7. Greige Market: 5 Street Style Hacks to Master This Fall
  8. Hey Just Jei: 5 Wild Ways to Wear Wood
  9. I’m a Norbyah: To Trend or Not to Trend
  10. Les Assorties: Fashion for the Future
  11. Miss Trend She: 3 Reasons to Wear a Watch
  12. Modavracha: Pom Pom Shoe Trend
  13. Ms. FABulous: NY Bridal Week | THEIA Fall 2016
  14. Purushu Arie: Monday to Friday Men’s Corporate Dressing Guide
  15. Splash of Teal: Weekend Getaways | Victoria, BC, Tips, Outfits, Things To Do
  16. The Outfit Repeater: Where to Find New Bloggers to Follow
  17. The Wanderbliss: Jewelled by the Sun
  18. This Season’s Gold: Wear it Two Ways | Petite in Poncho and Knee Boots
  19. We Are Ready Made: Changes
  20. What Erika Wears: How to Improve Your Social Media Skills as an Influencer

SPONSOR: Shopbop Marc by Marc Jacobs, Club Monaco, Rebecca Minkoff, KTZ, Autumn Cashmere, Shelly Brown, Lace Up Boots, Burgundy Pants, Capes, Men’s Clarks


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