Vegan Sikh Geek

My Next Month Without, and YouTube Results

September 06, 2013

Not interested in my YouTube experiment but want to read about next months? Skip the next paragraph.

Last month, inspired by Leo Babauta’s A Year of Living Without, I gave up using YouTube. It wasn’t easy. There were so many things that I was reminded of throughout the month that would be fun to watch or great to learn. While podcasts certainly helped, there were still times when I caught myself finding other avenues to waste time. If it wasn’t YouTube, it was Wikipedia. If it wasn’t Wikipedia, it was IMDb. If it wasn’t IMDb, it was another wiki. The problem was never YouTube. Just like so many other tools, it’s how you use them that determines their worth. I’m working on using my free time effectively and have a much better handle on things. Now that the month is over, I decided to not give up YouTube entirely, but certainly limit my activities on it. I created a Chrome extension which hides related videos so there’s less temptation to click ahead and I’ll still have podcasts to keep my listening engaged. I’m very happy that I gave up YouTube as I might not have had the realization that the problem wasn’t YouTube. Now that I’m working on myself, I can recognize the problem as it comes up and stop it in its tracks.

Looking at the month ahead, I’m giving up something that I’ve actually wanted to for a while, but am doing it for others as much as I’m doing it for myself. This is for all the brothers and sisters who spend more than a minute or two to decide what to wear. It’s for all those who have to change their outfit a number of times before they settle on something. Mostly, though, it’s for the sisters who worry about who has seen them wear what at which event because some other person will see those people and tell so-and-so that she wore the same thing that he said she did. More on this later; I’ve been meaning to do a Part 2 to my Punjabi-Style Suit Frustrations post and I’ll save it for that.

I’m pre-deciding what I’m going to wear to any given day or event. I don’t care if it’s a repeat of the previous day or if it’s the same thing to a wedding as the last wedding. In a suitcase will go all my t-shirts minus the plain black and white. So will all suits, buttoned shirts, polo shirts, khaki pants, etc. What will stay out will be traditional Punjabi/Sikh clothing, plain hoodies for wearing on top of my t-shirt on colder days, a single two-piece suit and a single white buttoned shirt which will be worn only if I’m ever invited to a western formal event. To any Indian formal events will be a traditional Kurta with a vest. To any religious event will be a traditional warrior dress. Some sweats for working out and a pair of 3/4 length shorts if I’m going to the beach. If, at the end of the month, I decide that I’m better off without deciding what to wear, all the clothes will go to charity.

I do look forward very much to simplifying my wardrobe. It’s one of the things on my path to minimalism that I’ve wanted to do. What has held me back, though, is my fantastic set of geek shirts. I proudly wear my Mario Bros, binary joke, Bazinga! and Hogwarts banners shirts, and enjoy seeing reactions from others when they try to figure them out or the knowing smile when they do. Many great conversations have started from my shirts. It’ll be interesting to see how the month plays out.

Navdeep Singh

Written by Navdeep Singh. His work is on GitHub. He's also on LinkedIn.