Obese People and the Trend of Skinny Fit Jeans

I hate shopping for clothes.

Reason? Trends keep changing, and so is my body.

But, lucky that I’m staying the same obese guy for the last four years.

Last week I went to an apparel store and asked for denim. The sales guy asked me “Waist size?”

I said “38”.

When I tried the pant, I can’t even pull them up past my knees. They were so tight on the calves and thighs. But, I knew that my size was 38 as I have a lot of clothes with matching size that I wear daily.

When I asked them, the guy said “Sir! These are slim fit jeans. They’ll be like this!”

“Don’t you sell regular pants? Something like a straight fit or a comfort fit?”

“No Sir! They’re out of fashion. Now, everybody likes only the slim fit.”

I looked around to see if any of the men around would fit into those pants I had. Nobody seemed like they would.

I asked him “Okay, show me the next size?”

“We don’t have the next size, sir. 38 is the last.”

I was pissed off. The entire four storey multi-brand apparel store did not have any regular fit pants. Everything was skinny fit or slim fit.

The brands that had regular fit was too expensive. So, expensive that I could pay a gym for three months, shed some weight and buy a regular pair of jeans with that money.

When I asked for shirts. The answer was the same.

“Slim fit”

I went to two other stores, and the answer was again “slim fit”.

This incident had posed me a question. Why, in a country where obesity and lifestyle diseases are becoming an epidemic, every apparel store is selling slim fit and skinny fit pants and shirts?

The conspiracy theorist in me started thinking what if this could all be part of a grand plan.

  1. Food outlets keep popping up everywhere, and food delivery chains bomb you with offers so that you can binge watch TV series and load yourself with calories.
  2. You end up eating more calories and put on a weight. You realize your clothes won’t fit, and you decide to shop for new ones.
  3. Apparel stores sell only slim fit, and you feel bad for not being able to fit into anything. Shops and websites direct you to plus size stores that are marketed as apparel stores for obese people.
  4. You end up having a complex when you had to go up to a ‘special store’ to buy your clothes.
  5. When you Google for a solution, you get ads and articles pointing towards the gym. Result? You join a gym where you pay a lot of money to reduce weight. There are no ‘slim fit’ and ‘skinny fit’ when you want to buy sports apparel. They come in all sizes. Why is that? Why is it hard to find regular clothes for your size whereas it is easy for you to find gym clothes of any size!
  6. Sometimes you might also end up paying additional money for fat burners and proteins.

This would make an excellent plot for a novel or a movie. Right?

Maybe I feel that way. Maybe I am not aware of shops where people could easily get their hands on regular fit pants.

This incident had made me realize that the concept of “Customer is the King” does not exist anymore. As customers, we can buy only what the businesses want us to buy.

P.S. : Fate did not leave me half-naked. I finally found a pair of pants for a fair price. They’re slim fit, but I can wear them with little discomfort.

Karthik & Stri’s Six Zones of Relationship

The most confusing thing about relationships is that people don’t know where they are in a relationship. This usually happens with men. Women are quite clear when comes to this (at least I think so)  

When a guy and a girl spend a lot of time and they like each other (or have a feeling that they like each other) there comes a question in the mind of the guy (at some point) wondering what ‘zone’ they are in. 

When I told this to my friend Srilakshmi, she said “How about we classify the zones?” It sounded like an interesting idea. Girls, right after meeting a guy or after spending time with him, put them in different zones. After some discussion, we classified six relationship zones. 

We’re calling it “Karthik and Sri’s six zones of relationship”

So, if you’re in a relationship, or think that you’re in one (happens a lot of time), its time for you to think which zone you’re in. 

  1. Friend zone
  2. Bro zone
  3. Test can zone
  4. Boyfriend zone
  5. Husband zone
  6. Son-in-law zone

Friend zone

The most common zone in an Indian relationship. 

You’ll be friends with a girl and you will want more in the relationship. You will also try your level best to express it to her. And, the best part is, she will also know this. But, she will put you in the friend zone. 

This means that you can be a great friend to her, but not her boyfriend. You will be the shoulder for her to cry on. You will run errands for her. You will be her pillar of support. You will be everything to her, but you will not and can never be her boyfriend, period.



This is the third most painful zone to be in (one and two are coming later). You will continue to like her, she will continue to know that you like her. But, you can never say it because you will be too afraid it would screw things up. You might even hear “I thought we were friends. You are like every other men!” which is kind of a code red situation 😀 

But, you can come out of this zone. You should stop expecting more from her and move on. You should treat her as a best friend and should expect nothing more. Start looking for another potential partner. 

Note: There are times where you might be upgraded to the boyfriend zone from the friend zone. It depends on the girl. Sometimes it is worth waiting.

Bro zone

You will like her and would be so eager to tell her how you feel. This is when she will slip in the phrase “You remind me of my brother.” or. “You are like my brother” or even “I wish I had a brother like you.” Her words will nuke your heart and the mushroom cloud would condense as vapours and would start running inside your body. 

A lot of girls use the word “bro” as a safety measure. If a girl, who is one year younger to you, calls you “anna” or “bhaiya”, it is clearly a measure of safety. 

The best thing to do is stay away from that girl. I know you like her. But, there’s no future. So, it is good that you move on. 

I don’t want to talk more about this zone as there is nothing more to talk about this. 

When you consider the degree of pain, bro zone is the second most painful zone to be in. 

‘Test can’ zone

This is the most painful zone to be in. The painful of all the zones. 

Have you ever seen the deodorant section in a supermarket? They will have huge racks filled with perfumes and sprays. If you want to try something, the salesperson will give you a ‘test can’ with which you can try the perfume/spray. If you like it, you won’t buy the test can. Instead, you will buy a new can. 

Similarly, the girl you like will love everything in you. Your humor, the way you take care of her, the support you offer, your parents, etc. But, when you ask her “what kind of a guy you want?” she would say “I would want a boyfriend like you.”

Your mind would scream “Woman! I am here.” You will be too excited. You would even think about asking her out, or the worst case propose to her. 

But, hold that thought. 

She doesn’t like you, but the idea of you. There is a huge difference. 

You will have to move around with her knowing that she would want someone like you and not you. That is the reason this is the most painful zone to be in. 

If you think you’re in this zone, the best way to overcome this is by telling the girl how you feel about her. She can upgrade you to the boyfriend zone, or push you back to the friend zone. But, it is not advisable to stay too long in the test can zone. 

Now, the next three zones aren’t that hurtful, but they definitely are some funnily weird zones to be in.

Boyfriend Zone

Are you super glad when you finally get to hear those three magical words?? “That’s my boyfriend.”

Well, it’s good for you, if you expect nothing more than just a casual relationship with the girl. If you are someone who wants to be in a serious relationship, the boyfriend zone is just as worst as friend zone.

You are always wanted, when it comes to date nights, long bike rides, and Valentine’s Day. However, there are high chances that you are never going to make it to her house in daylight.

Why? Sometimes, you are just being used as a rebound to make her “ex” feel jealous. And few times, it’s because all her friends have boyfriends, so peer pressure.

Well, the good news – this zone is still not that prevalent, at least in Chennai. Bad news – the longer time you are in this zone, the harder it is to come out of it.

Husband Zone

Are your “have-never-kissed-a-girl” lips smiling seeing this zone? Well, don’t. This is the ultimate “manamketta” zone to be in. You are the backup. Yes, the guy she might consider marrying if she is single at 30, which is even less likely than Saravanan Meenakshi making sense.

If she is a nice catch and hence you like her, she is not going to be single. So, when she asks you to be the guy she wants to marry if she is still single at 30 or 40, RUN! Don’t go Awww, because you are the ‘Bali Aadu’ here.

Now, what makes a man fall into this zone, unlike the other 4 zones above, where you fall in it, irrespective of which kind of guy you are, this zone is specifically for men who are marriage material. Let me explain with an example: If you are someone who prefers to drop her office instead of asking her to bunk it to go on a long drive, you are the perfect candidate for this zone.

Son-In-Law Zone

In the past 25+ years of our existence, neither of us realized that this can even be a zone, until recently, I (Sri) was asked out by a guy, who is the dream son-in-law for my mom. Well-behaved, earning six digit monthly salary, loves to take his mom, sisters, and friends for shopping, great in cooking, adores kids, and what not. If he had gone and proposed to my parents (like Ambi Vikram) instead of proposing to me, there are high chances that I would have been picking my wedding saree now for my arranged marriage with this guy. And there are even high chances that he will be assisting my mom in helping me choose the saree.

The target audience for the guys who fall in this zone are 50+ married, authoritative women and sometimes men. How to come out of this zone? Well, you just have to register yourself in Bharath Matrimony or even better Elite Matrimony.

So, that’s our six zones of (ir) relationship. If you are reading this blog instead of spending your Valentine’s night with a date, then it’s absolutely sure that you are in one of these zones.

So, which one is it?

Srilakshmi co-authored this blogpost along with me. She is a great friend and we had an amazing time brainstorming on this topic. She blogs at https://iamstri.wordpress.com/. Check it out. 

Disclaimer: All the above content were personal opinions written based on observations and stories that we came across. It is not written with the intention to hurt anyone’s feelings. C’mon! This is not a scientific paper, so chill B-)



Single? Everyone becomes your relationship advisor

DISCLAIMER: This post is dedicated to all the single people who’ve gotten tired of listening to relationship advise.

When you’re over a certain age and are still single, everyone becomes your relationship advisor.

During the recent times, I’ve been asked the following questions.

“Why are you still single!”

“How can person like you be single!” (I am going hyperbole here!)

“Are you seeing someone?”

“Were you seeing someone?”

And the best one is “You know, you should try Tinder!”

And, the funny part is a majority of those who give you relationship advise would be single too. It is like two guys who doesn’t know German watching a German movie and one of them is explaining the story to another person.

As the Valentine’s day is near, I am more worried about people who drop by and say “Why aren’t you finding someone! You’re wasting your life.”

I am not talking about close friends who are genuinely concerned about our well being. They always think about what’s good for us. I am talking about those who ask such questions just for the sake of it.

When I take a step back and look, I see a lot of single men and women facing the problem. It is not very different from the situation where a 60-year old retired post master uncle told you to study electronics and communication engineering as he for a fact knew that you would definitely go the US.

Sometimes, the best advise to a single guy would be to give no advice. People aren’t single without knowing about apps like Tinder or Aisle. They may be single for a lot of reasons: The ever changing marriage market, being friend-zoned often (that would be me), lack of proper financial situation at the household, an ill parent, lack of interest in getting into a relationship and so on. Some can openly discuss the reasons, but some can’t.

So, when someone gets uncomfortable when you talk to them about why they’re single, understand that there’s more to it than finding the right person.

Sometimes, you can show your love towards another person without doing anything. It could give them a sense of relief.

This Valentine’s day fall in love with people for who they are, and not for who you want them to be.

Until next time 🙂

Look up when you speak! Time to go phoneless

A couple of weeks back, I came across a post on my friend’s Facebook wall. It was about phoneless conversations. The post was about catching up with your friends over a cup of coffee or lunch. When I posted this, I never thought I would catch up with five of my friends within a week.

And, I have to say it was an amazing experience!

The rise of technology and apps has connected a lot of people from across the globe. But, did it help us in making meaningful relationships? We long for the likes and comments from strangers and ignore those who are sitting right next to us. When I travel in public transport, I see friends sitting next to each other chatting with their friends or scrolling through the endless Instagram feed. They fail to realize that they have each other to talk to.

A 2016 survey conducted by the American Osteopathic Association says that 72% of Americans (out of the 2,000 people who were subjected to the survey) feel lonely at least once in a week.

As we follow a majority of all the things the Americans do, it won’t be a surprise if a survey tells us that most of the Indians also feel lonely.

But, the question everyone should ask themselves is “why should I feel lonely when I have so many people on my Facebook and Instagram?”

The answer lies in real conversations.

I am not saying its bad to have online conversations. But, we should also respect the importance of having an in-person conversation. It’s fine to go out and meet new people. If you make a new friend on Facebook and if he’s living in the same city, setup a meeting a catch up. Talk about random stuff, laugh out loud. And, do not look at your phones when you’re having the conversation. Make the other person feel important, and I am certain that you will receive the same treatment.

I’ve just started my journey into phoneless conversations. This year, I am planning to meet more people and form a lot of meaningful relationships. If you’re in Chennai and would like to catch up, ping me on Facebook or Instagram. Let’s talk random stuff and have a good time.

In the end, life is all about cherishing the little things.

My Madurai Kothu Parotta Experience

Two weeks back, I drove down to Madurai to attend a wedding. On the way, I had the amazing Dindigul Venu biriyani (I will write about that separately) and the delicious Manapparai rice murukku. But, the best part was I stumbled into a restaurant in Madurai that served the most amazing Kothu Parotta.

The night I reached Madurai, I called my friend who is a native. I asked him to bring his bike thinking that I could explore restaurants in Madurai. When he asked me what I wanted to eat, the first thing that came to my mind was the parotta. I knew Madurai is famous for parotta and kothu parotta. So I said take me to a good restaurant that serves good parotta.

I said I don’t want to go for well off places like the Kumar mess, or the Simmakkal Konar kadai. I’ve been there already. They taste good, but they’ve become huge now. Fully air conditioned and stuff. I wanted to eat parotta on the street. When you eat spicy parottas, you should sweat. Eating good parotta is like working out. You need to sweat out a few calories to take in some.

Based on my requirement, he took me to a place call Janani Mess on East Maasi Street. The shop was really small and had most of the tables and chairs was laid outside the hotel. On one side there were people eating, and on the other side the master was skilfully making several plates of kothu parotta.

Kothu parotta is a blend of minced parotta pieces mixed with curry leaves, onion, spices, and a dash of egg. If you need chicken or mutton kothu parotta, you will have to ask them separately.

We ordered a plate of kothu parotta or “set” (is what they call it) first. It was instantly delivered to our table. The kothu parotta was amazing. The masala was perfect and it was spongy. The waiter poured on some chicken kuruma on top of it. It added more spice and masala with every bite. The spiciness did not take over in the beginning. It slowly added up with every mouthful and I felt the complete masala only when I finished the dish. It was an amazing experience.

After finishing kothu parotta, I ordered two pieces of normal parottas and a plate of chicken sukka. The chicken sukka was out of the world. It tasted several times better than what I had several fine dining non vegetarian restaurants. It was perfect.

And, to complete the meal, we ordered kalakki. When comes to non-veg food, kalakki is my dessert 😀

The kalakki was also exceptional. My god. I felt like I had put the jackpot.

At the end, we ordered,

  • 1 plate kothu parotta
  • 2 kalakki
  • 1 plate of chicken sukka
  • 2 parotta

The bill amount was Rs.160. I couldn’t believe it. For the taste and quality, that price was way cheap.

So, the next time you hit Madurai, do try Janani Mess. You won’t regret the experience.

And, by the way, I am writing this blogpost from a backpacker’s hostel in Delhi. It was my first time in a backpacker’s hostel and I am loving it. I will share my experience soon.

See you soon.

Until then, spread love.

My Quest to Find the Best Kalakki in Chennai

What is Kalakki?

Kalakki is a traditional south Indian egg dish. The word “kalakku” in Tamil refers to mixing. Kalakki is the half boiled mix of beat egg, salt, pepper, and sometimes chicken/mutton gravy. This is totally different from the traditional half boil or the one side omlette.

Image courtesy: kannammacooks.com

My first encounter

The first time I had Kalakki was in 2012. I was an ignorant guy back then (I still am.) I thought omelette, one side omelette, double side omelette, kalakki, and podi mass all meant the same thing. One night on my way to Pondicherry with a bunch of friends, we stopped by a shop on the roadside and my friend ordered Kalakki. The waiter came with a plate of semi boiled mass of egg with onions in it. It was delicious. From then on, the dish became my favorite.

But, I was a little worried as I was unable to come across a kalakki that is extraordinary.

The best Kalakki in Chennai?

And, after moving to Tambaram last December, I stumbled upon a local shop that serves an out-of-the-world Kalakki. M.K.N. Madurai Idly shop is a small shop located in East Tambaram. When I went there to have my dinner, I saw a lot of customers order Kalakki. There were more Kalakki orders than Dosa or parotta. So, I decided to order one for myself. When I took the first bite, I knew that that was the best Kalakki I had in my entire life. It was made with the right amount of salt and pepper with a good mix of chicken gravy.

If you’re around East Tambaram, head to M.K.N madurai idly shop and have a Kalakki or two. The place is also famous for its idly and amazing bun parotta. The place is small and lacks ambience, but if you want to have great food, you shouldn’t mind it 😉

Location for the place (Next to E. Sait Biriyani Cente, East Tambaram)

How to eat your Kalakki

This might sound like Vijay Sethupathi giving instructions on how to eat Nalli Kari (from the movie Vikram Vedha). But, I’ve tried it and this is the best way to full savour your kalakki.

  1. Order two parottas and a kalakki.
  2. You will get chicken gravy to go with it.
  3. Take a piece of parotta, and a piece of Kalakki.
  4. Dip it in the chicken gravy and put it inside your mouth.
  5. Repeat the process until the parotta and kalakki gets over.
  6. And, don’t forget to order more 😀

P.S: Recently I had another great Kalakki in Madurai. I will be writing about it soon.

If you know other places that serve great Kalakki, please post them on the comments section. Thanks 🙂

Is Yaa Mohideen Chennai’s best biriyani?

A year back, some of my friends told me that a small hole in the wall restaurant named Yaa. Mohideen in Pallavaram serves the best biriyani in Chennai. For a guy who constantly looks out for good biriyani, this was a great news.

My wish came true this January when I decided to get myself a plate of biriyani from Yaa Mohideen. I went to the place and was surprised to see such a huge line in front of the place. There were more than a hundred people in line. After waiting for an hour, and when I was near the serving counter, they told me that the mutton biriyani got over. I waited for another 45 minutes and finally got my plate of mutton biriyani.

The old shop – shot in January

To be frank, I was disappointed. The quantity was less, the mutton pieces wasn’t cooked properly and the rice lacked the flavor of the biriyani. I came back home discontent. When I told this to my friend and a couple of others, they were close to getting on a fist fight with me. They strongly argued that that shop serves the best biriyani. They also said that it may be just one day and restaurants have a bad day sometimes.

I agreed. Restaurants have bad days. So, I told them that I will check it out another time, and will share my experience in my blog.

Last week, I went to the place again. This time they had a fully functional A/C restaurant a few kilometers from the old shop. I and my cousin went there at around 8 PM.

We took a look at the menu and came to know that they served only four dishes: Mutton biriyani, chicken biriyani, khuska, and chicken 65. It was good that they did not diversify too much and stuck to what they are known for.

We decided to order mutton biriyani, they said that the mutton biriyani is over and they have only chicken biriyani. We were a little disappointed and settled for chicken biriyani.

Five minutes later, we were served with a plate of chicken biriyani with bread halwa on the side. The bread halwa was amazing. There are only a few restaurants in Chennai that serve dessert along with biriyani and Yaa Mohideen is one such place.

Now, let’s come to the biriyani. The quantity of the biriyani was less. A guy in another table asked the waiter why was it so less. The guy said, we had recently reduced the quantity. When the customer asked the reason, the hotel guy wasn’t able to give a proper answer.

The biriyani was neither too greasy nor too dry. It was cooked well. But the taste got me a little worried. The rice was lacked flavor. The chicken pieces had good taste, but the rice stood out of the biriyani. It did not blend in. Also, the biriyani had too much of chicken pieces and very less rice. I felt like I was eating a chicken starter rather than eating a biriyani.

A good biriyani should have masala evenly spread across the rice and the meat. This is what makes the flavor uniform. Also, the chicken pieces in the biriyani should be a little less than the rice. This will usually give a fulfilling feeling. In case of Yaa Mohideen, the rice got over soon and I was left with three chicken pieces which I had to eat alone.

On my visit to the place for the second time, I would say that my opinion about the place hasn’t changed much. The biriyani seriously lacked balance in terms of flavor, piece to rice ratio and quantity. And, the price? The biriyani I ate was definitely not worth Rs.220. A week later, I had biriyani in E Sait biriyani, Tambaram. The biriyani had far better taste and cost me just Rs. 130

Is this Chennai’s best biriyani? Not really. Will this be on my top 10 biriyani’s list? Not at all.

Did I visit them during another one of their bad days? May be or may be not. Hope they rectify the shortcomings and serve the best biriyani in Chennai.






A short interview with Pichumani Durairaj – CEO of Interviewdesk

Last week, I was invited to the launch of Interviewdesk – an on demand interviewer platform aimed at solving the slow and cumbersome hiring process that is prevalent in many companies. When I met the CEO of the company, Mr. Pichumani Durairaj he said that his vision is to help companies hire the right talent and he was certain that Interviewdesk would help them right away. I also asked him a few quick questions about the company and he patiently answered them all.

What made you start Interviewdesk?

Being a recruitment professional, I found that retaining a potential talent during the phase of multiple interviews has always been a tough task. On the other hand, even though hiring managers need people on time, they find it really tough to allocate a dedicated time for interviews since they are loaded with lot of work.

That is the reason I started Interviewdesk. To help companies find the right talent on time.

How is interviewdesk different from a other HR firms?

Interviewdesk is completely a unique model. We work on a source to select model, wherein with our in house recruiters we identify resumes through various sources and pass it to our expert interviewers for one or two levels of pre-screening and pick the best out of the lot. But a typical HR firm would only be able to identify resumes through various sources.

How would you classify interviewdesk? A HR firm? or a technology firm?

I would say that Interviewdesk is a HR Techology firm.

I know you’re from Amazon? How did the your experience in Amazon help you build interviewdesk? How strong is the technology?

It has helped in various aspects. Amazon has moulded me in various aspects both in terms of learning the technology and networking with various experts, outside and inside of the company.

Name one difficulty or obstacle you faced before or during the launch? And, also tell us how did your team overcome it?

I cannot call it as an obstacle, but we do face challenges when we integrate technology into the HR concept. We are trying to build a scalable product which would be able to automate various tasks for the HR of any company in terms of managing the schedules.

What is your dream for Interviewdesk? Where do you see it in the future?

My dream & vision is building world’s largest community of interviewers.

Is this going to be only for India? Or are you planning to expand to other developing countries?

Its going to be across globe.

If you’re interested to know more about Interviewdesk, you can do it from their website.

I thank Mr. Pichumani for giving me an opportunity and sharing his experiences about Interviewdesk.

Interviewdesk.in Helps You Hire the Right Talent

Hiring the right team is the key to a company’s success. Everything else, including the product takes the backseat. Great companies today have reached the status only because of the team they’ve had and have behind them. But, is it an easy task to hire the right people?

No. Hiring the right talent involves screening through thousands of candidate profiles, assessing them, shortlisting the qualified professionals and choosing the best of them. This could be easy for bigger companies as they usually have the resources and the time. But, imagine this process within our current startup ecosystem, where there are several small, yet growing companies that need to scale rapidly. Interviewdesk.in is started to address this problem with the help of technology.

Interviewdesk.in is an on demand interviewer platform that helps companies hire the right talent. The Chennai based company will handle everything right from filtering candidate profiles to shortlisting the right people for the company.

When I was recently invited for the launch of the company at Chennai, I was really curious to know how the model works. At the event, Mr. Pichumani Durairaj, the CEO of the company spoke about issues faced by companies and how Interviewdesk would solve them. Pichumani is a former Amazon executive who has more than ten years of experience in the field of human resources.

Mr.Kiruba Shankar (left) interviews Mr.Pichumani Durairaj (right) at the launch event

Interviewdesk was his vision in order to bring together the right talent and opportunities. When he was looking for ideas, he decided to go with the marketplace model which can connect the right candidates with the right company. The process will be mediated by Interviewdesk’s interviewing experts. The service is also open to hiring experienced recruiters and is ready to pay them for interviewing candidates.

They claim that outsourcing the interview process would save companies 50% time and cost. It is great to see companies like Interviewdesk make use of technology to find a simple, yet effective solution to the everlasting problem of hiring the right people.

Unveiling of the interviewdesk logo at the event

The launch event was fabulous and had excellent business minds sharing their experience.

The Chief Appraisers of the event were

Mrs. LathaPandiyarajan, Managing Director, Varam Capital

Mr.ManikandanThangarathnam, Director of Engineering, Amazon

The Chief Motivators of the Company were

Mr.KumarVembu, CEO & Founder of GoFrugal Technologies

Mr. Bhupesh Nagarajan, Executive Director, Indira Projects, and Development

Mr. Lokesh Kanagaraj, Film Director

Mr. ArasuShanker, CEO, EShakthi.com

It gave me a great experience to learn from people who have walked the path and have done the impossible.

I thank Interviewdesk for giving me a wonderful opportunity to be part of the launch event. Kudos to Mr. Pichumani and his entire team for building such an amazing company.


How Much You Pay Facebook to Use Their Service?

If you think Facebook is offering its services for free, you’re wrong. Every month, you pay $1.27 to use Facebook. Wanna know how? Let me tell you a small story.

Three months back, I decided to uninstall Facebook and Messenger from my smartphone. I wasn’t sure if I will be able to live without them. I was addicted to scrolling the endless news feed to know what others were doing. One day I asked a question to myself,

“Everyday I spend most of my time looking at what others are doing with their lives. What am I doing with mine?”

So, I decided to minimize my Facebook usage. And, the first step was to uninstall the app from my smartphone. I thought if I do that, I won’t be getting any notifications, which are a major part of distraction for anyone who uses Facebook. I decided to use Facebook on my mobile browser when I feel like browsing.

After so much thinking, I uninstalled Facebook.

The first few days were very difficult. That is when struck me how I was addicted to Facebook without my knowledge. When I Googled about how and why it happens I found a lot of amazing information.

The Art of Persuasion

Several companies like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram etc have a bunch of people called persuasion engineers or attention engineers. Their work involves developing features that hook us to the website. Their ultimate goal is to make us spend more time on their app. If you see Youtube would automatically play the next video after the end of a video and Facebook automatically plays all the videos when you scroll through its feed. So, instead of rapidly scrolling, you will stop for a moment and see the video. These are techniques employed attention engineers to make you spend more time on their websites.

The more time we spend, the more ads we watch and click. The more ads we watch, the more money they will make.

You Pay Facebook to Use the Service

As on 2016, Facebook made a revenue of approximately 27 billion dollars from ads. At the end of 2016 Facebook had 1.8 billion monthly active users. Doing a simple math, you could say that every user indirectly contributed an average of $15 per year. That is $1.27 per month. We pay the money to Facebook by clicking the ads and also we waste so much time scrolling through the newsfeed. Funny right?!

When you look at the user data of Facebook you can see people under age groups 18-34 make the majority of the user base. They comprise 59% of Facebook users. This is a period where get to achieve more things and make a future for themselves. Instead we’re spending all our time on social media. Sometimes, I feel that we’re missing out the point. Technology should help us be more productive and not otherwise.

Value Your Personal Time

Every person on an average spends 8 hours in sleep and 10 hours at office/school/college. Daily commute, food, and other activities take 2 hours. What we have in hand is those precious 4 hours that define who we are apart from our regular routine. This is the time we spend for ourselves. This is our personal time to experiment – to try new stuff. But, we’re slowly losing this personal time since the dawn of social media. To be more precise, we spend all the time looking into others’ lives.

I’ve minimized the use of Facebook and I am happy now. I check my feeds once or twice a day, for a new minutes. Compared to before, I spend more time reading, writing and jotting down ideas for my upcoming stories. This phase better. I am more addicted to doing more. I wish this continues.