Turn off the digital world when you’re on vacation
Americans stay over-attached to their tech gadgets.
Detroit Free Press
Gab, gab, gab. Type, type, type. Tweet, tweet, tweet.
And, waitress, can you get me a Mai Tai?
Increasingly, Americans are not truly vacationing when they go on vacation.
We leave home — and sometimes spend thousands of dollars for a week or longer in a beautiful spot — but are tethered by so much technology we never achieve true relaxation.
We might as well remain in our basements, glazed eyes glued to the iPad, which shines just like the Hawaii sun on our pale faces.
I am begging you, control your electronic usage on vacation. Either leave everything at home, or give yourself a one-hour window per day to go online and see what disasters you’ve left back home.
You cannot possibly live in the moment or have an original thought if you are spending every second photographing yourself and tweeting or posting about how you feel. In fact, the most annoying tweets in the world are from travelers: “At Miami airport checking luggage.” Who cares?
To counteract this irritating development, Marriott International has come up with “Braincation” zones at seven of its resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico. These public zones are off-limits to cellphones, iPads and laptops.
“Some of the zones are on the beach, some are on the patio, one is on a fourth-floor common area, but all are in picturesque places that can be blocked off for quiet time,” says spokeswoman Christa Romano.
It’s not a social experiment by Marriott but a smart marketing response to a survey it did of 1,000 travelers.
The survey revealed that 85 percent of vacationers had been annoyed by someone talking loudly on a cellphone; 36 percent check their email even on the beach; 89 percent check email and voice mail at least once a day (often multiple times), and 66 percent uploaded photos of themselves to social media sites while on vacation.
Before you go on vacation, ponder these questions.
—If you do not live in the moment, where are you, really?
—Is taking and posting endless photos from vacation an anxiety response, a way to remember the vacation when we get home because we weren’t present for it while we were there?
—Is tweeting or posting photos from vacation spots a form of bragging? If you couldn’t post, would it diminish your enjoyment of the trip?
—Why are you checking in with your office? Isn’t it your vacation?