As the summer slowly starts to fade away, and yellow school buses begin to flood the roads, many are enjoying the last few weeks with a much deserved vacation. Many look forward to few days away from the office, and find great joy in setting up their “Out of the Office” auto responder. However, one must ask, why do we pack our phones, iPads and laptops, if we are trying to get away from it all?
As we start to pack our suitcases, we make a mental note to not forget our cell chargers, the cord for the laptop, and put great effort in deciding a tote bag to carry everything to the beach, without getting sand in it. Quite clearly, the best way to not get sand in our precious toys is to not bring them with us. However, we just can’t seem to unplug.
In the NYT from last week, Bruce Feiler writes about how he and his family benefited from staying on the grid, saying that it helped with answering every day questions; What type of leaf is this? What is a home remedy for bug bites? How to I fix a garbage disposal?
Although I understand the need to be connected, I think some people push the envelope and go to far. How can one relax and enjoy family time, if you are stuck behind a screen all day? Instead of capturing all the scenic vistas from your behind your phone, why not enjoy the view in the present; in the now. I wonder how many family road trips consist of Mom and Dad in the front, listening closely to the GPS, while son and daughter sit in the back, texting to fiends back home, while listening to their iPod or steaming a video of sorts. What happened to family time? Enjoying each others company, and more importantly, conversing with each other.
Think back, long ago, to your family vacations. No cell phones. No laptops. No i-things. Just good old fashioned fun. Granted, you may not have an instant answer to a question about, “What type of bird is that?” but you can always research it when you get back home.
In your eyes, what are the benefits of an unplugged vacation?