I have been using internet since year 2000 when I was 12 years old. At that time speed of internet used to be very slow in the range of somewhere 1 to 4 KB/s. As the time passed not only the speed increased appreciably but also our usage of internet and the devices we used it on. At the start there was just one desktop in our home and our internet usage was moderated, by moderated I mean my father used to surf kids’ websites for us while we sat with him and enjoyed seeing different pages as he surfed the site. In just 7 years when I got admission in the university, I was at a point where I couldn’t think my life without internet. I had a Nokia 3110c phone and a postpaid connection of WaridTel for which I paid Rs. 1000 per month just to get 2000 MBs of data which I used to use on my laptop by connecting my phone via Bluetooth. I used to download MBs of data even at that time which would take hours due to slow data transfer speed. No one in my batch even owned a laptop, using internet was a different story. In a time when people didn’t even know about computers, I was tech savvy.
Fast forward to present, everything is online around me. People are connected to each other online. They talk, laugh, live and breathe online. The internet is new O2 and I cannot live without it, at least I think I cannot. I use 90% of my cell phone and laptop to access the internet. My important documents, pictures and data is all stored online. My accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Gmail, Pinterest, Reddit, YouTube and so many other apps keep me connected to the digital world. I am more alive online compared to offline where my senses are limit to the reality around me.
Considering this level of importance internet has in my life, now imagine, if suddenly you don’t have it for a day or even for a couple of hours. It usually doesn’t happen except in special cases like government decides to shut cellphone services due to security threats or if my phone line has some issue. I still have access of internet as I have a data package on my cellphone from cellular service and also in my home as conventional phone line internet package so it’s very rare that both of these shutdown at the same time. The only way I cannot have an internet access can be if I am out of my home as well coverage area of cellular service. In a nutshell, it would be a very unlikely and extraordinary event of my life if I don’t have access of the internet.
I usually have 2000 MBs of data package on my cellphone and I use it mostly for social media, podcasts and light web surfing when I’m not home. When I am home, I am connected to phone line internet service. I am not sure exactly but roughly overall, I use 100 GBs of data per month on my laptop and cellphone. The data package on my cell phone used to be sufficient for my needs in the past but as the content is growing day by day in the form of pictures, videos and GIFs that this data is consumed before the month ends.
I have almost run out of cellular data for this month. I’m remaining with 25 MBs of data, it’s 24th day of the month and I still have 7 days to get my new data package for next month. The question I am asking myself is that can I survive on 25 MBs for 7 days. To be honest, I don’t know the answer. If I ration this data over 7 days, then the per day quota comes out to be 3.57 MBs. This means all I can access online is text. No Instagram, no web surfing, no podcasts. The only app I can easily be connected to is Twitter and Gmail and that too with images turned off. I might pull it off as I am not addicted to social media anymore. So as for as cellular data is concerned I am good if at the end of the day I have access to an unlimited source of data network that can quench my internet thirst. As I write this post, I am not connected to internet and I will upload it when I get back home from work. Can I make it on 25 MBs for 7 days? The answer of this question is not as intriguing as the changes this question will bring in my life to embrace this self-imposed cyber minimalism.