Earlier this week I was in for a pleasant surprise. Last Thursday, after dinner I was on my usual routine, checking mails, randomly surfing the net. Just then my wife, who by now, had got bored of my regular habit of surfing the internet post dinner, ordered me to vacate the chair I was seated on as she wanted to surf the net. But what she said was most interesting and has probably has far reaching effects on how much the internet has taken over our life.
“I wanna go shopping”.
Yes you heard right. This statement is so sacrosanct with weekend ritual of getting ready, planning what shopping to do and which store to go. Then taking the car out, managing through the traffic, finding that elusive parking space and finally indulging in much therapeutic shopping experience. For the first time in my life, I heard this with reference to online shopping. Yes I’m not talking about basic groceries purchases, but she wanted to buy clothes.
I asked her “But don’t you enjoy real shopping, like going out to the mall?” She replied “But, who has the time? This is very convenient”. I have observed she sticks to well known brands online so there is never an issue with quality.
Is this the future?
Although I had no doubts on e-commerce business to boom, I was a bit skeptical on apparels to do well in online retail especially in metros since everything is available within a 5 km radius. If you can’t touch and feel would you really buy clothes online? However this one statement forced me to relook.
And so while writing this blog I wondered how much internet has influenced me an individual and both of us as a couple over the last 5 years and changed the way we do things in a positive way. And the list was amazing. Have documented it here for posterity and would love to re-visit it in 5 years to see what new additions happen.
The Internet Effect on us
And as I started to think from the very beginning, I realized that both of us came together as a result of the internet . Had it not been for internet we would never have met!
We met Online
Long before there was LinkedIn, there used to be a site called Rediff Connexions, a professional alternate to then popular Orkut. We happened to connect online on this site and became friends and many years down the line were husband and wife
Higher engagement Factor during Marriage
Since i married outside religion, and there were lot of talks among relatives about my wife, who she was, what does she do etc. I thought it would be great to answer all their doubts online! And yes for my marriage, we had developed a wedding website. It was just a concept then. And the site attracted over 2000 views in 2 weeks. The idea was my relatives could know more about my wife and me before the function rather than just being present for the wedding. Higher level engagement you see. And it worked beautifully
TV is dead.
We almost have given up watching TV, despite having two televisions sets we hardly watch anything on it. For us YouTube has replaced TV. Our favorite pastime is watching re-runs of the classic Basu Chaterjee thriller Byomkesh Bakshi or travel back to ’60 with R K Laxmans’s Malgudi Days. Also we prefer to watch infotainment episodes like TED Talks, Learn Series or pure entertainment stuff like Apprentice, Britain Got Talent, VIMEO Music Videos etc.
Healthcare Goes Online
This one we started experimenting recently. Doctors Appointment: Though we have not completely moved online, we use internet for first level doctors opinion. We upload our reports online, choose the doctor whose opinion we would prefer and pay online. The doctor responds within 2 hours. What’s more a follow up is even free. Based on the first level opinion we then take it offline.
Goodbye Big Bazaar
Grocery Shopping: We no more go to Biz Bazaar, we have completely moved online. My wife buys her entire grocery online from bread to Atta to onions. Why. It’s almost the same price and much more convenient. They offer flexibility, can deliver at 7 am or post 10 pm , at our convenience, something which no retail store would promise.
Three weeks ago, my wife ordered Domino’s pizza online on the occasion of her younger brother’s birthday that is in Delhi. The pizza reached home for their lunch. It was meant to be a surprise.
Financial Freedom Online
All our financial transactions, whether paying bills, credit card , mobile, gas, electricity or even investing is completely online since many years. No agents. All banking transactions, investing in stocks, mutual funds, insurance. We track our financial wealth on online portfolio tracker.
Plan. Travel. Eat .Share – All Online
We have never booked through agents. Everything is researched on Trip Advisor for International and India Mike for local and booked online using the help of Google – ITA software. Reviews and tips have made a world of difference to where we go, shop, eat and do for any travel plans,.
For entertainment we always book tickets online, for dining its now easier to catch a menu online to see what’s on offer first and then decide to go, We not just benefit from reviews of wonderful people online bit also make it a point to leave reviews for others benefit
In fact one of my post of Sikkim trip has cross over 140K views .Link Here
God is also online
On Diwali day last year, my wife decided to do a small puja at home. We realized we did not have the devotional song for the puja. So we downloaded and played it directly from YouTube.
No more fear of Getting Lost
One of the biggest benefits has been not getting lost now to find a place. With Google Map there is never a fear of losing your way.
In Touch with Friends/ Family
Networking is what we all are into, though I personally don’t use it much. My Wife communicates with her family in Delhi via Skype. Friends in touch through Whatsapp, Finding old friends through Facebook.
Getting Updates/ Gain Knowledge
Feedly is my customized newspaper. It updates me with latest information from the sources where i would like to have updates from. It saves time and improves productivity. Amazing Sites like Quora are the perfect platform to gain new knowledge
Learning a new Skill
When we were in Paris two years ago, and our hotel had offered complimentary champagne, we faced a big problem. I didn’t know how to open the champagne bottle. What did i do? I logged on to the internet through hotel wi-fi and on Vimeo checked for a video to open a champagne bottle and then followed the instruction. Perfect.
Relax with Music
Downloading music is a breeze with iTunes and with millions of apps ranging for productivity to an app which wakes you up based on your ideal sleep cycle.
Maintain a professional network with LinkedIn improves business and job chances. Connecting with people in your industry is much easier
Frankly the list can go even longer however these were most critical for us.
Some may argue that not everything is good about the internet or technology in general. However my belief is we should rather focus on the good things than bad. After all, it’s a choice available to us on how to use it in the right way. The whole beauty of life is to harness the positives of technology to live life to the fullest.
With more and more new concepts being tested, the future sure looks exciting and hopefully we can make the right choice on how to imbibe them in our lives to make it richer enriching experience