Let's make it a truly H"app"y 2015!!

It’s that time of the year again; time to re-evaluate the year personally and professionally.  Things I have done right, things I could do better and things I shouldn’t do at all.  To be more productive and efficient, I need to analyze my daily input and output, I think to myself.    

I wake up to an alarm, which is now an app on my phone.  Before I open my eyes, Whatsapp and Facebook, two other apps on my phone have already notified me of everything that is going on in the world.  Not to forget, also trying to play catch-up is BBM, a long-forgotten cousin.  Clearly, I must add to the “chaos” and must post photos from my awesome dinner party last night or the exotic holiday I have just been on.  How could I not?  Everyone must know that I have a cool life too!  Sorry I forgot Instagram beckons while I am on Facebook – the newest craze, which has even more followers than Twitter – how smart is Facebook to capture my attention from all sides!!  I then switch on the lights with another app on my phone and rush to wake up my children so we can all get dressed for school.  I just about manage to get them to the bus stop to turn on Bus Finder, another app on my phone since the two-minute wait seems way too long!  Once I drop them off, I turn on Google Maps – my savior, which will help direct me to my first meeting of the day.  

I meet many tech start-ups during the day; learning about how people are trying to change the world and make our lives easier and more productive.  A dry-cleaning app to pick up and drop off your cleaning so you don’t need to walk down the street to your local cleaner while saying hello to your neighbours on the street; a restaurant app to get last minute reservations at London’s top restaurants so I might post even more photos of me dining there on Facebook!!  All along of course not forgetting all the “notifications” I receive from my 904 friends on Facebook commenting on my photos from last night.  I am late now – I hop into a taxi using one of five taxi apps on my phone. 

As soon as I get home, my daughter tells me she has won an award at school – I immediately take a photo and post it on Instagram (my husband who has still to this age has not digested social media has barred me from posting anything that celebrates my children’s achievements on Facebook – on Instagram he will never find out)!!  She then asks me about homework – many things I know but a few of course I don’t.  I snap my fingers and say Google – on my phone!!  I have all the answers for her in a jiffy.  Did I forget about the time, my Dad and I, as a child, spent looking at an Encyclopedia to find answers to questions and how much we bonded while doing this?  While I do homework with my daughter, my son does Math on a number board on the Ipad – the only way I can keep him out of the way.  While we do homework, my husband has ordered groceries on a brilliant app that delivers our groceries so we no longer need to go to the grocery store to touch and feel what we eat (not to forget spend alone time without the children).  It has all arrived and I wish there was an app, which would put it all away.  But alas there isn’t – some day there will be a robot, I think to myself and life will be so much easier.  Before I know it, the day is done, the week is done and voila, the year is done!!

Having evaluated more than 200 start-ups this year, most of them in technology, I find it amazing that technology has provided us with so many conveniences – surely we must have a lot of free time to do things that we enjoy and our pleasurable.  How often this year did I manage to take time out to take a walk, read books, learn how to drive, meditate, foster my hobbies such as cook a delicious meal or play a musical instrument or simply be in the moment without trying to capture it?

If I looked at my total time saved (TTS) as a result of technological gains and total time waste (TTW – a common phrase for those of you from the Indian sub-continent), surely technological gains in my life should surpass the productivity lost!  Has it?  Not sure about you, but I think I have spent more time on social media apps (note some of this is PR for business purposes and therefore does have a measurable result) this past year than I have spent on solving real life problems.  According to me, my TTW far exceeds TTS.

I have a resolution now I say to myself.  Social media is something I have lived without for a majority of my life - surely I can reduce my reliance on it.  Surely I don’t need to share every moment of my life with my friends and wait for positive re-enforcement from them.  Partly psychological and partly bored – partly a show-off and partly a record – without analyzing myself further, I say to myself - Those that really need to get in touch with me will do so even without me being on social media every other minute of the day and those that don’t shouldn’t really matter.

If only now there was an app, which would auto-measure my performance against my resolution.  Until then, only time will tell.  Let’s make it a truly H”app”y 2015.    

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