Monday, December 8, 2014

Arianna Huffington (Forbes List Most Influential Women) by: Niilesh A Raje

When you wake up in the morning, don't start your day by looking at your smartphone. Take one minute - trust me, you do have one minute - to breathe deeply, or be grateful or set your intention for the day. ~ Arianna Huffington

One day while I was reading some of the motivational quotes over the internet I happened to read the above quote by Arianna Huffington which not only made a favorable impression on my mind but also set me thinking.

Technically speaking what Arianna quotes does makes sense in today’s world of malls, multiplexes and social media. Not checking your smartphone for longer hours for many of us is like a feeling of a fish with no water. Smartphones today have become an absolute addiction for many.

Before I pen down my short piece and excerpts of my chat I had with Arianna let me first give short introduction on the personality under consideration.

Arianna Huffington is the Co-founder and Editor-In-Chief of The Huffington Post, a nationally syndicated Columnist, and Author of fourteen books. In 2009, Huffington was named as number 12 in Forbes first-ever list of the Most Influential Women in Media and as of 2014 she is still listed as the most powerful Woman in the world by Forbes. She is best known for her news website The Huffington Post. In 2003, she ran as an Independent Candidate for Governor in the California recall election.

With Arianna Huffington currently being in India I took this opportunity to meet her over freewheeling chat. It was only yesterday that AOL owned news website Huffington Post launched its India edition in partnership with The Times of India Group.

Here is the excerpt of my chat with the lady in the position of prominence none other than Arianna Huffington.

Question: Arianna, Welcome to India!!!. Well, my question to you being it’s an observation that even when a family goes out for dinner in a good restaurant instead of spending some quality time with your loved one’s over dinner table one can see that each member of the family is deeply engrossed in checking their emails, their facebook accounts or chatting with friends over WhatsApp till the time the dinner arrives and at times checking emails still continues. Why this addiction to social media?

Response: Thanks. Well, when we founded The Huffington Post in 2005 within two years we were growing at an incredible pace. I was on the cover of magazines and had been chosen by Time Magazine's as one of the world’s Most Influential Women. I was working hard eighteen hours a day for seven days a week trying to build a business and expand our reach. It was on 6th April 2007 while on my way down my head hit the corner of the desk cutting my eye and breaking my cheekbone. After my fall I asked myself, “Was this what success looks like?”

We as individuals keep on following the latest trends technology offers us. Today, Smartphones are getting cheaper so also the number of Facebook users seems to be growing exponentially. The Desktop’s have been replaced by Mobiles giving us instant connection and responses from every one spread across the globe. Those days of delayed response getting back home switching ON your computer are all over in today’s age of social media. We all love instant responses.

Also, when we see that only 13% of battery life is remaining on our smartphone we get anxious and stop all our work only to go, hunt or borrow smartphone chargers. We are petrified of being left alone without our smartphone. Renowned Greek Mathematician had said, "Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the earth.”

In the hustle and bustle of our daily routine the cycles of life keep moving on. It’s one’s very own experience that enriches our life. Well, one must enjoy that quality time with your loved one’s rather than being glued to your smartphone. A good sleep is an absolute must for every individual and for us to be creative. One must understand that we as human being are not meant to be up 99.9% all the time and the world does not come to an end if we keep our smartphone away or switched off for couple of hours.

Yes, social media is an addiction but it’s we who are the Chief of our life. We must be matured enough to get the pulse of what’s more important to us. Good Sleep or being glued to your smartphone all day long.

Arianna, Thank you so much for the time you gave to me on your visit here in India. Here’s wishing you and the whole crew of The Huffington Post All The Very Best for the launch of your India edition. We are positive it would indeed be a voyage of discovery.

Before I call halt for now I would like to sum it up by another beautiful quote from Arianna, "If we charge our phones by our beds we are going to be tempted if we wake up in the middle of the night for whatever reason to look at our data. And when we look at incoming emails and texts we are allowing our day life to intrude into our night life, the time when we are recharging and our sleep is not as deep and recharging as it needs to be."  

Happy Reading!!! 

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