How the iPhone is Sucking the Fun Out of Vacations

Updated 17 weeks ago Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
How the iPhone is Sucking the Fun Out of Vacations

by Sara Wells

Recently, I went away to Fort Lauderdale for the week. While I was prepared to have a semi-working vacation, my day job didn’t stop when my abridged work hours were complete. Why? I had my iPhone and my Windows phone on me at all times. “Turn it off and put it in a drawer!” is easy to say, but my phones provided everything from music and a camera to connecting with my family when I took a stroll into town. How else would I know what flavors of fudge everyone wanted from the candy shop?

After my third day, I asked myself why I was obsessively checking my e-mail every time I picked up my phone. The answer was simple: because it was there. It’s my belief - and that of many other people - that smartphones are ruining our lives just a little bit, and with that, our vacations. Here’s why:

Everything Is Seen Through a Filter

Whatever you look at just begs the question, “Hmm, which Instagram filter should I use?” It’s hard to see the Parthenon’s historical beauty or the Eiffel Tower’s twinkling mass when you’re just wondering if it would look better slightly overexposed or in a high contrast black and white. After all, you’re not really enjoying your time unless your 600 Instagram followers see you having fun, right?

Google is Your Best Friend

Ahh, the good ol’ days of stopping strangers on the street to ask for directions and then striking up a conversation about your respective motherlands. Kiss those random meetings goodbye now that you have Google Maps to get you everywhere you want to go, totally alone and closed off from humanity. The same goes for eating out - why ask locals for their suggestions when you have Yelp at your fingertips?

There Are No Surprises

The new installation at the Guggenheim, the menu at that little pizza place everyone suggested you visit in Rome, the tiki bar at your hotel in Hawaii…you expect it all because you researched every last detail as you were waiting for your flight take off. Where’s the fun in finding out that your hostel’s having pizza and beer night the same day you arrive if you already know about it?

Wait, Just Let This Finish Downloading

You may be standing in Le Louvre, but you wouldn’t know it because you’re too busy downloading an app that will help you experience Le Louvre. Even though you’re already right there, missing out on the experience because you’re trying to get a better, glossier, iPhone-ier experience. At least when you get home you can refer to your Foursquare check-ins to remember where you went. Then you can check your Facebook uploads to see what all those places looked like.

Yeah, Yeah, I Miss You Too

Traveling with friends is great, right?! Except, you’re not actually with the 15 friends you’ve been virtually traveling with for the past week. It just feels like that because you upgraded to an international phone plan and you’ve been on FaceTime so much your battery loses its charge by lunch time. If you think about it, that probably means that your real travel partner, the one’s who actually right next to you, is starting to feel sort of neglected.

Goodbye, Resourcefulness!

When you have an iPhone that tells you everything you need to know to get through your vacation in one piece, it’s easy to rely on that little handheld computer instead of yourself. What happens if you lose your charger or your SIM card gets stolen, though? Will you be able to find your way back to the hotel, figure out money conversions and remember your flight details? Sometimes, the old fashioned ways of doing things - even if you just have everything prepped as a backup - is more reliable than the new, technology-based techniques.

Image by: Wikimedia Commons

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Sara Wells writes tech and gadget articles for a variety of clients such as Protectyourbubble.com iPhone 5 insurance company.

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