The founding principle of the relationship between myself and tech gadgets were laid since my primary school days in the 90’s. These principles of commitment and dedication to the very fast developing world of technology started when I got my hand on my first Sony Walkman cassette player. From those days in Oluyole till now in modern Britain, I have always had a continuous stable and growing relationship with technology.
Fast-forward to 2017, there has been a rapturous sweep of technology systems and applications all around the globe. There is hardly anywhere you look or turn to without tech hardware’s in form of gadgets or tech software in form of applications. Our dependency on tech as a race in my opinion is clearly over the top.
Kids nowadays would rather go to google instead of the good old-fashioned oxford dictionary. What happened to the excitement of scanning through the pages of a dictionary with your mates, breathing heavily over you to find the meaning to a big word used by a teacher.
You can see it when you go to a restaurant with couples highly engrossed into their phones instead of enjoying the glass of red merlot and medium grilled steak served over a good conversation about life.
Let me stop right there before I begin to sound like the lead man for an anti tech campaign or establishment. As a matter of fact, I am a pro tech campaigner. I love technology. I believe in the power of technology. The ability to add value to our everyday life and change the socio-economic landscape of the world.
So why would a young man like me who works in the Tech world, support the rise of a global tech revolution, with vested interest in the continuous advancement of the science power down for a whole month?
Well, A couple of things triggered this herculean decision. Yes, it’s a big one for me as I explained earlier on – I use tech for business and daily routines. I am plugged for reasons beyond narcissism and boredom. However, our dependence on tech is a question that pops up in my head from time to time. You know something is wrong when you start to ask yourself over and over again if something is right or wrong. And so, in my truly spontaneous fashion, I decided within a few seconds I was going to power down in 3 days. from the time I made this decision till the date I officially kicked off the detox I informed everyone close to me about my decision which looked irrational to some but was understood by the core Teejanyts (The people that understand the weird mix of my ideology , social persona and discipline) .
Firstly, I wanted to measure how much more I could get done in my everyday life without the distractions of smart gadgets such as my iPhone. Let me now go further without stating this isn’t about the inability to get jobs done anyway. I already have my life cluttered with so many tasks on a day to day basis with obligatory demand from my professional Job and side projects.
Nevertheless, a man must be able to continuously find ways to be more efficient and productive in his everyday journey, as it is only by this way we can close inefficiency gaps and fine tune your daily routine to maximise productivity.
Secondly, I wanted to really detach myself from the soft addiction to my phone. We have all been through this process many times when you actually don’t need your phone but you still find yourself pull it out of your pocket/purse to just scroll through a bunch of apps waiting to be undocked and interacted with. This happened on my first day off my phone, as I made my way into the bus 17. As soon as I sat down, the first thing I did was put my hand into my pocket to pull out my phone. Unfortunately, there was no phone to pull out as I remembered placing it right underneath my TV at exactly 12am after my power down the day before.
The point I am trying to make here is the fact that we are all so used to filling the little pockets of free time we can use to think, admire nature, listen to a friend, read a book with our phone.
This is what I call a soft addiction. I personally wanted to go through this journey to help me reset my brain cells in dealing with the automated subconscious routine.
We wake up every day and first grab our phones instead of a glass of water or pray (for the religious or spiritual ones).
My love for music was truncated as I couldn’t get access to my Apple and Spotify music subscription pipelines on the go and in the gym.
I wasn’t also able to run commentary and express my very strong and sometimes controversial opinion on some matters arising in the music world and political hemisphere of my home country, Nigeria.
While I was on digital exile, a couple of things happened.
Sadly, I lost my 100 years old grandma – Mama Ijesa. Unknowing to me before my detox actually kicked off, I was really missing my grandma randomly which triggered me to publish this tweet below on the day.
I even had a dream a day before she passed that she was in her car making a trip back to her home village, Ilesha. So when I got home and received a message from my mum back in Lagos that Grandma had died, everything I had been feeling right before then all made sense to me.
Her legacy as a woman and leader would never leave me for the rest of my life. Grandma was everything to me. She went on to achieve everything you could expect a woman/man to achieve when she/he comes on this planet. She also made huge impact on her immediate family my mum and her siblings. I will go into more details when I publish my post about her in the nearest future titled (Iya IJesa – The greatest)
For the first time in my life, I stepped my foot inside a £1.5million pounds property in Watford. Why is this important? Well, just some months back I visited a property that cost around £9 Million not too far from the same area but it was for a friend’s music video shoot.
The difference this time is because the property was owned by my fiancés mum’s cousin who hosted us for his wife’s 50th birthday party. A black man owning a 1.5million property means a lot to a man like me that grew up in a south east london council flat . It is inspirational not because of the monetary value but because of the level of achievement. The barriers, the journey, the hard work and discipline it must have taken for an African man to such apex.
Visiting this resident made me feel I can achieve the same and if not more as this was a man that told the story of how he went from being a security guard some years ago to selling IT products around the world.
He said one thing while giving the speech on that gracious day. “Do it on your own terms” which I interpreted as meaning you should never be forced into something, take your time and embrace your own journey. Great things sometimes take time – You will get there in the end.
And to add to this, Uncle Monsuru wasn’t wearing the obvious Rolex you will see on every black man, nowadays trying to establish his new status among friends or society. The man was rocking a classic apple watch.
He wasn’t wearing no shiny shoes or luxury cotton material. The host was dressed casually in jeans, white trainers and a long-sleeve polo shirt to harmonize with the White & Gold dress code of the party. You can see the humility and modesty from the way he dressed to the way he talked and catered to everyone on the day.
A very popular podcast I follow religiously on iTunes dropped their first visual podcast featuring the brilliant rapper MI Abaga. This will go down on record as epic moment in Naija pop culture history. As you can imagine, it was trending everywhere within hours after it dropped. I got emails from friends sending me the link but was unable to take part in the debates that followed online (Whatsapp groups and microblogs).
This was a moment in Nigerian hip-hop culture as it was littered with moments of tension and clarifications. This particular podcast episode shows why education is very important. MI came into the podcast to school Osagz on his own show. It was magical to see the tables turned around for the first time as I regard and still regard Osagz as one of the top pop culture and music journalist’s in Nigeria. Osagz alongside AyTunde and Steve Dede have retained my respect and attention for the next decade due to their ability to challenge what has become the norm in the industry and society as a whole. The inability to question and openly say things that everyone is thinking out loud without being apologetic about it.
Staying on the pop culture topic, a few releases came under my radar which I loved so much and decided to share with you just in case you wondered what music kept me going during this Journey.
To round it up my people, the challenge was testing and tough as you would have expected. It is even more tougher if you have projects that depend on the social media platform to grow and increase brand awareness.
One of my friends, Paul actually said to me while I told him about my plans, “Are you mad “? Well, I am not mad or insane. This little test I do yearly are well validated within self. I do alcohol detox, abstinence from sex, and now a digital detox.
During this period, I was able to use all those minutes, hours and accumulated microseconds that would have normally gone towards watching snap or scrolling through Instagram to finish a few projects I started off and left untouched for a while.
It is good to take a break from these things sometimes. It’s so refreshing to your mind and brain. Be spontaneous. Don’t wait for someone to challenge you, challenge yourself. I did this challenge knowing it will be tough. I finished it without no regret.
It’s the perfect way to rehearse how to get rid of a toxic habits or assets. You should be in control of your relationship with your phone and any other gadget, not the other way around as we have it today. If I overuse or underuse it now, it is all up to me. That’s because I chose to. The ability to be able to stay unplugged for a month has proven that to me. There is nothing like I can’t. You can do anything you set your mind to do as long as you are willing to sacrifice.