What I learned when I lived without mobile data for 2 months

I was living without mobile internet for the past 2 months. Somehow Airtel had bonked my data plan, and they couldn’t set it right the first time I got on support. I figured something must be wrong with my hardware and was too lazy to follow up again. The only internet I had was wifi, when I was indoors.

And hey! I know what you just did. Don’t make that face and shrug away my first world problems. I think I deserve some credit for getting by. Do you think there’s wifi everywhere? In trains, on streets, in restaurants? Do you? Let me show you some proof of how hard life is for those who are unfortunate




You get the feel right. Ok, now the final one without my helpful red marker

Yeah.. so the one on the left is the normal human. And the one on the right is the poor one without internet. Look at her face, she’s so lost.

Anywhoo, my data is working again. I don’t have to be like these suckers any more. So I want to share what I learned by being there (and back) – the apps that I missed and the apps I didn’t

The apps that got me all teary eyed with joy

Within 30 minutes of getting my data back, I had the following reaction with some of my apps


Here they are –

Whatsapp: It really sucked not being able to coordinate on the go, and no SMS does not cut it. I missed simple things like being able to share my location and coordinating asynchronously without having to call again and again.

Uber (and Ola etc): This really made me appreciate how much Uber has changed the way we travel. I loath taking an auto (mostly over-paying them), but had to make do with it at times. My haggling powers are significantly diminished since the days of college. This one time, when I couldn’t get an auto at a price I desired, I walked back home a distance of over 5 km, in peak pollution hour in Gurgaon. All because I didn’t have a data connection. That’s how much I hate haggling with autos I guess. And that’s how much I’ve become used to Uber.

Google Maps: For directions. But even more so, for real time traffic.


Voice detection: This one was not so obvious to me. I didn’t think I was using it much. But slowly and steadily, I’ve become accustomed to telling my phone to do something, instead of typing around, especially when driving. It is being hailed as the interface of the future for good reason. This might mean our face time with our phone screens will take a hit. I wonder if phones will feel bad about it (you don’t look at me like that anymore).


The browser (for google search and looking up plain old websites!): Apparently at some point in the last few years, the world started going crazy about app first and then app only. I hear the madness may be coming to an end (the new madness might be doing everything on a chat interface).

And then there were the apps that were in the pretty ‘meh’ category


Here they are –

Gmail / Email: Maybe because I am jobless these days and I have no meetings to attend. Email is also less demanding of quick responses, as opposed to messaging, which is also asynchronous, but more real time in nature. Lazy people love email. I love email.

Any shopping app: My usual shopping app takes me lesser time than the fastest 90 minute delivery app. And it does not need internet. And it is 3d. The future is upon us. In related news..


Any wallet app: As of now, I really don’t care if I can’t access a wallet app. Unless they’re giving me cash back to put money in their wallet of course. Sadly, those days seem to be behind us.

Any social networking app: I’m too old for this shit.

Would love to know what are the apps that you guys can’t do without. And the ones that are losing relevance.

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10 thoughts on “What I learned when I lived without mobile data for 2 months”

  1. I really start feeling impatient as soon as I see your blog’s email in my notifications, curious to read the new real experience. The same happened today while I was driving.

    Keep writing and enjoying.

  2. Good reading. Most of the people actually kill their time in most of these apps. These apps work on the principle of keeping your mind involved in something that does not require any serious mental activity.

  3. Animesh! This was an absolute fun read! I love your one liners :D

    and i completely relate to what you’ve said about each app, especially WhatsApp & Uber!

    Keep up the good work…

    May the force be with you… Even on the dark side! :D


  4. Hey Animesh, I once tried this too, and I was really missing the GPS apps, Google Maps. Rest of the apps did manage without me :) I believe a phone should be made which can let us make phone calls, and assist with GPS directions.

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