Can Any of Us Afford to Live Offline?


Can Any of Us Afford to Live Offline?

Illustration: Akshita Monga


ut your phone away. It’s not like the company will shut down without you. You’re sick, act it,” scolded my mother, as I lay in bed after a particularly bad bout of viral fever. “I’m not checking work maa,” I lied while slyly closing the Gmail app and the office WhatsApp groups that I had been scanning. Of course maa wouldn’t understand that work did not stop just because I called in sick. I was, after all, just a quick email-WhatsApp message away if anyone needed me. And was I expected to reply? Of course.  

The truth is that in 2018, as long as you aren’t dying or already dead, you are expected to be a text-email away. If that sounds drastic, well, it is. Let’s face it, “Never go offline”, is actually a diktat most young working professionals like me truly believe in and are wholly complicit in perpetuating. People think that millennials are simply addicted to their phones. I present another argument: We have no choice.