I have a love-hate relationship with gadgets. While I can’t dispute the fact that smartphones are amazing and have enhanced our lives in so many ways—from staying connected to friends, family and colleagues all over the world, catching up on the latest movies and music, and learning new skills, to using them to navigate roads—they have also turned us into savages. No one seems to have any phone etiquette or manners. There’s just too much beeping and ringing going on, and there are far too many people screaming into their phones.

My pet peeves are people loudly chatting on their phones while working out at the gym or immediately when a plane touches down. And, of course, I don’t understand what kind of person would leave the click sound of their keyboard on!

If you are out in public and anyone else can hear your phone conversation and your texts beeping, you are being inconsiderate and rude and that needs to be addressed. There’s a silent button on your device. Use it! Also, people who play music and watch videos on speaker in public—that’s what headphones are for!

I’m loving the wireless Apple AirPods. I love the freedom they afford. I also adore my Bose noise-cancelling headphones, which are great especially when you are travelling. It feels like I’m in a cocoon when I have them on.

I’m not a violent man but I would certainly advocate capital punishment for anyone who thinks it’s okay to use their phone in a movie hall. To me, that’s the most egregious of all cellphone crimes and the reason I rarely go to a theatre to watch movies these days.

We also need to become more aware of the dangers of using one’s phone while driving. We’ve all been guilty of it at some point but we must realize it’s not worth the risk. I’ve started pulling over to the side of the road if I need to take an urgent call or respond to an important message.

I would use my laptop a lot to send work emails until recently. Now everything has shifted to the phone. I rarely bring out my iPad for work. I mainly use it to watch movies and TV shows in bed or on a long flight.

While it’s fantastic being connected, it’s just as important to know when to switch off. Studies have linked over-stimulation from smartphones to all kinds of issues like stress and anxiety. I like going on technology detoxes where I leave my phone at home or in another room. It’s scary at first but then strangely liberating and relaxing.

One thing I don’t like doing on my phone is making notes and using the calendar. I much prefer the tactile process of writing in my notebook. I also don’t like reading e-books on a device. I love the feel of paper and cardboard and flipping pages and the smell of a book.

I don’t feel the urge to have my gadgets upgraded every year. It’s absolutely wasteful to my mind. I don’t care if I’m not using the absolute latest device. I upgrade as and when necessity demands.

My favourite apps currently

Giant Mind (guided meditation)

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Classic FM (classical radio from London)

The Moon and Planet Finder (for stargazing and identifying planets)

Dictionary (I’m a word nerd and use it for looking up words and synonyms)

Line Learner (I use it to help me memorize my lines for shoots or auditions)

Smart WOD (to time and programme workouts at the gym)

Vivino (to learn about wines and how they’re rated)

In Work Wise, actor Rahul Khanna talks about how to best lead life at work and outside it.

As told to Sandipan Dalal