Mittu Chandilya, CEO of Air Asia India
Mittu Chandilya, CEO of Air Asia India, is quite active on social media. He uses the platform as an effective tool to promote Air Asia in the country. Speaking on the subject of digital detox he says, “In today’s world of multitasking and split-second decisions, technological advances and the digital world are a blessing and a competitive advantage. There has never been a better way of reaching your customers, employees and all stakeholders in such a direct manner. Our smartphones are probably the one thing we can’t leave home without. For me, personally, this is critical and I rely on it tremendously. I do think a digital detox is a very good concept for medical reasons (studies are still being conducted on the effects of mobile phones and the screen’s blue lights effect), relaxing the mind to think more clearly and getting some real downtime. But I think in today’s world, especially in particular sectors, it’s hard to go on digital detox.”
Indraneel Ganguly, Global Head, Tech Mahindra contributes valuable insights on the subject of digital detox. He says, “Today, either we are connected, or asleep – even wellness devices are monitoring our sleep! But it is important for us to recognise that just being on a network, with a device and on a channel, does not make us better thinkers, doers and communicators. We need to try and carve out time to introspect, reflect and find the pristine joys of nature and life through one’s faculties. So if time is the new currency of success, spend it well.”
Renowned author and business leader Subroto Bagchi, best known for co-founding Mindtree explains: “When the steam engine arrived or the first flight took off, people had some inkling of the impact but they had no idea of the consequences – whether negative or positive. As the world goes irreversibly digital, we are as ignorant of what the consequences would be in 10, 50 and 100 years, downstream. How may we change and morph and mutate? All I can say is that we should do everything in moderation, digital included. The genie is out of the lamp; we cannot crawl back to mother’s womb but irresponsible use of technology, deploying it to serve humanity or inhumanity, is a choice we must make. I believe, in the past, the human track record, for it hasn’t been disappointing. Things have worked out overall.”
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director of Biocon Limited, shares intuitive advice. “There is no either or situation, I strongly favour the idea of embracing technology and getting connected digitally. This is a communication era which has really transformed our lives through 24×7 access to a wide variety of information available through views, ideas, opinions, shared on various social and digital platforms from people across the world. In that sense it has truly created networks that transcend geopolitical boundaries. However, we must remember that tech-nology can never replace the warmth of genuine, caring human relationships. So, individuals who have been spending too much time locked in their virtual worlds may find a periodic ‘digital detox’ necessary to rejuvenate their health and their relationships. I think by and large, mature users strike a fine balance between the time spent online and offline with their friends and family.”
Thousands of amazing opportunities, people, walk by every hour while our faces are buried into our devices. Smartphone is one amazing channel for communication and information exchange, not the only one and certainly shouldn’t be the primary one. Meaningful relationships are built and real personal development occurs through social interactions, a skill that is being constrained with reduced exposure to real people. Let’s consciously utilise the numerous benefits of technology as a tool and combine with the consciousness of real world surroundings to become the ultimate evolved beings we ought to be!
Hyderabad-based actor and producer Allu Sirish agrees with Chandok’s view. “Yes, a digital detox is a must. Technically, the brain can’t multi-task; it can only do a rapid-switch between two tasks which only reduces the brain’s processing speed and power. Constant beeps, alerts and notifications disturb our ability to stay focused and immersed in one task. The only way to be focused and immersed is to “be offline” during crucial tasks,” he declares. “I go on a digital detox in a small way, everyday. I switch off the “data” on my phone while watching a movie, going for meetings or doing a task that needs focus. It’s a huge challenge to be disconnected, but then I push myself to do it.”
GV Keshav Reddy
GV Keshav Reddy, grandson of GVK Reddy (Founder Chairman and Managing Director of GVK, the Hyderabad-based infrastructure conglomerate), advocates the need for periodic digital detox in order to stay sane and physically and emotionally connected to the world. “Yes, one should definitely go on a digital detox because it allows you to embrace the moment and enjoy the world around. I love going on a digital detox especially when I’m on a holiday on a beach or near a forest. That’s when you actually realise how much beauty you’re missing out on, otherwise,” he tells.
He might be considered the Willy Wonka of the digital world, but the fact remains that in an interview with Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs revealed that not only did he and his wife limit how much technology their kids used at home, his children did not even have iPads! Issacson, the author of ‘Steve Jobs’ has said: “Every evening Jobs made a point of having dinner at the big long table in their kitchen, discussing books and history and a variety of things. No one ever pulled out an iPad or a computer.”
Jobs wasn’t the only tech giant to impose strict limitations on the kid’s screen time – many Silicon Valley titans ban all digital gadgets on school nights and allocate austere limits for weekends. Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired who’s now heading up drone maker 3D Robotics, has stringent time limits and parental controls on every device in his home.