Coronavirus in UAE: StayHome, but don't waste time on the precious Internet

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Dubai - Yes, it is boring staying home and the need to reach out is overwhelming.

By Bikram Vohra

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Published: Thu 26 Mar 2020, 12:49 PM

Last updated: Thu 26 Mar 2020, 5:05 PM

YouTube reduced its video quality to ease pressure on the Internet. Netflix has gone into streaming to lighten download activity. The European Commission is asking streaming platforms to switch to standard definition systems during periods of peak demand as the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis puts unprecedented load on Internet infrastructure.

There was a fear that after e-learning began the Internet would be overloaded. That did not happen, but to be fair it is not the e-learning that is the problem. It is you and I.

This fact was rammed home to me when my mobile phone showed a 200 per cent increase in usage and time spent on the Net. I thought it was absurd and a clear miscalculation. Even working from home, I could not have been live for 4.5 hours of the first nine hours of the morning. It is never more than an hour or even less. Despite working from home this was excessive. So I conducted a quick breakdown and discovered 176 messages on WhatsApp, most utterly pointless, 274 slices of conversation, also utterly pointless, 33 emails of which only seven were work-oriented and the rest chatty replies to others, and 28 video forwards, 27 of them with no redeeming feature.

So, with a little help from my friends and family, we have drawn up a chart to limit this invasion on the ether or the cloud or whatever you call it.

We are not going to send 'good morning' and 'good night' messages to all and sundry. Stop already.

We are putting a block on forwards to not more than three per person per day. (This after we sat in the same room and saw ourselves forwarding messages to each other from four metres away). Oh, that is funny, send it to me!

No heavy video files of people singing Coronaaaaa in some form or the other. No funny pass ons. I do not feel funny.

Stop engaging in lengthy conversations on the Net.

Do not download VPNs (they are illegal anyway) and watch streaming films endlessly.

Yes, it is boring staying home and the need to reach out is overwhelming, but do your bit, you are a soldier in this war. We all are.

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