Check-In and Unplug

Posted on July 1, 2011

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While I’m staring down the barrel of a long weekend and thinking of going technology free (no tweets, posts, links, likes or shares) I decided to Google and see what I could find for technology-free vacations. It might be gimicky but when I worked in hotels it would be common for them to develop weekend packages that requested the guest to hand in their cell phone upon check-in. And, people actually paid to do that!

What I did find while Googling was a post on eHow family edition of “How to Have a Technology Free Vacation.”  Here are the steps they listed to reach your tech-free vacation:

  • Decide ahead of time what goes and what doesn’t. If you are taking time off work but still need to check in, you will need your work-related cell phone. If you think you might need access to the internet,  you might need one computer. If you can’t survive without your tunes, try putting a bunch on a CD for the family to listen to in the car.

  • Choose one of everything to take along, but only if you must. For instance, take along one cell phone for the family in case of emergencies, and take along one computer to check email along the way.
  • If cutting out iPods and video games doesn’t work for your family entirely, it will still be helpful to cut back on using them. Make rules for the family and stick to them. For instance, iPods may only be listened to in the car, or video games may only be played just before bedtime. Once you have the rules down, have one person in your family take charge of all of the electronic equipment to keep it all in one place.
  • Stick to the limits! If each member gets to check email once a day, for only 25 minutes, get a timer out and make sure you stick to it.
  • Be sure that you have plenty of other things to do. Without the technology in your life, you will have lots of space that you feel must be filled. Bring board games, car games, cards and anything else you can think of.

The above steps are listed as moderate to difficult. Really?

I find it difficult to believe that (1) people need instructions on how to eliminate their dependence on electronics for one weekend and (2) they recommend that if you can cut them out entirely, you can just “cut back.”  I’m the type that needs to cut technology out cold turkey and I think you would #fail this exercise if you simply “cut back.”

What are your thoughts? Do you find unplugging on vacation important or impossible?

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

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Posted in: Emerging Media