Fasting as a Remedy – Festival and Internet

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The concept of fasting is nothing new. From times unknown, people have been taking a break in their eating pattern, sometimes lasting as long as 30 days to cater to one reason to another. These reasons could be religious or just health related.

Ever since my childhood, I have seen my family members fasting on following religious occasions –

  1. Twice a year for 8 days as part of Navaratri.
  2. Fasting on 16 Mondays for fulfilment of a desire with the blessings of Lord Shiva
  3. Fasting on Thursdays to perform better in their area of impact
  4. Fasting on the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna
  5. Fasting to celebrate the heavenly dance of creation, preservation and destruction by Lord Shiva
  6. Women of the household fasting to seek long life for their husbands
  7. Mothers of the household fasting to seek long lives for their children

With age, food based or meal based fasting has also become a part and parcel of everyday life. There are days when the only food to be consumed is only fruits, as we are doing a Phalaahar that day or at that time of the meal.

Terms like intermittent fasting, carb fasting etc are also becoming more and more popular. Of late, one can see that various forms of food or meal based fasting is being adopted globally.

While fasting to moderate food consumption is popular, the outage of popular social media platforms few weeks back made me think if another equally and perhaps more prevalent consumption also requires fasting. This consumption is internet and so content consumption through digital media.

I had decided to observe the fast on Oct 24, 2021. You can read more about it here.

Coincidentally it was the same day when my wife was also doing a no water no food fasting wishing for my long life, as part of her commitment towards Karva Chauth.

I started the fast from the midnight of Oct 24, 2021.

In the morning, after my morning walk, I devoted time to vacuum clean some of the home furniture, carpets and other parts of the house. This activity had been pending for weeks and a couple of hours were well invested into this.
Since my son was away with my parents to my brother’s place in Hyderabad, I helped my wife with some of the preparations she had to do for the conclusion of her fast in the last evening hours.

It was lunch time by then.

The real challenge came in the afternoon. I made myself busy with ‘Exponential’ from Azeem Azhar. Its a good book and was able to go half way through.

By the evening, my craving to switch on the internet on my devices and also on my phone had started building serious. I even picked up the phone once at around 5 pm but then let it be for the time being.

The rest of the evening was just wasting time and doing nothing.

At 7:30 p.m., I concluded my fast with ICC T20 World Cup match between the arch-rivals India and Pakistan. I would say there was no worse way of concluding the fast given the extremely poor performance by the Men in Blue.

My big lesson from the attempt was that I have become very very addictive of the content consumption. I found myself feeling empty when the devices were not feeding content to me.

This is certainly not how I want myself to be.

I am thinking now to make internet fasting a more regular feature in my monthly schedule to make sure that I do not become an addict to this consumption.

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