Opening up the mind from a Lockdown

Opening up the mind from a Lockdown

A Story by Shanker

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After close to three months of confinement, a lifestyle creeps in where one begins to forget what day of the week it is. Everything from breakfast, the morning Zoom call with the bosses, and even the dreams that I have before I wake up seem to be: cyclical. The days of following up on the news first thing in the morning are long gone. I have put a full stop to that habit, like several other millennial friends of mine. 

Our news feed is updated continuously as per our previous clicks & engagement rate, yet online curators seem to segregate news purely for their shock value! The news industry is a business at the end of the day, and they have advertisers and their board to answer to. It doesn’t matter if the number of active cases are undergoing a plateau, they would much rather record and report the total count, which would obviously be steadily or even exponentially rising by the day.


We celebrated Work From Home culture for the first few days. Who wouldn’t like to get to work wearing their pyjamas, and sipping tea leisurely at the dining table, at the very moment they might have been fighting for breathing space on a congested bus or train on a regular day. 

Now we are in a new kind of dilemma. Science would call it the planning fallacy. A common term would be biting more than you can chew. We tend to overestimate the time we have on our hands in a given day. Unaware of the innumerable distractions in our home that leak hours from the planned schedule- the dog coming on to your lap while you are drafting a mail, the child at home seeking attention, the messy desk, the guard coming around with a new circular on lockdown restrictions. 

We no longer have a boss looming over our shoulders, so we are free to be playing a few rounds of Candy Crush in between emails. This freedom fills our boat with more water, sinking our schedule. 

Distraction is always around the corner, like the Amazon pop-up that exclaims that the last box of soap is almost sold out. The urgency of such communication is akin to a zombie apocalypse. The online e-commerce world has been taking advantage of our ‘fear of regret’ since time immemorial. Like the elusive one-time offer available since day one, the last chance to purchase a drawer you barely have any space for. Our judgement is quickly overtaken, and we end up making a reptilian decision later regretted. 

We must always study the source. One must equally question the intention of the messenger while dissecting the purpose of the message. Quite often, the origins of the word are not scrutinized, and this oils the spread of misinformation. The ease in which Whatsapp forwards spread hatred, often forcing the govt. to shut internet services altogether are common. 

As the lockdown goes on, we have to invest time in understanding the biases we are unaware of. These biases govern our decision-making and are repeatedly exploited by news agencies, online marketers and our bosses at work. Books such as ‘Art of Thinking Clearly’ by Rolf Dobelli will help you understand the several inconsistencies in our mental conditioning, most of which we are blind towards. Use this lockdown period to reflect on why you do the things you do, and you will subconsciously make better decisions once the world opens up again.  

© 2021 Shanker

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Added on May 17, 2021
Last Updated on May 17, 2021
Tags: essay, story, experience



30 years old. Global citizen. Here to meet new people more..

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