smartphone vs. vacation

part three in a week-long series about the rituals of summer-vacation-taking

smartphone, you are the enemy of the true vacation.

yes, it seems like no big deal when we're shooting a quick email here, and sharing our awesome vacation photo on instagram there, and picking up a short call, checking our office voicemail, and responding to just this one hilarious tweet from our friend from college.

let's compare:

vacation before you could work, plan, and socialize internationally from almost anywhere on the planet:



  • 9:00am:  coffee and breakfast
  • 10:30am:  horse around in the ocean with your kid, your best friend, and your best friend's kid
  • 12:00pm:  read a magazine lying on your beach chair while periodically poking your leg with your finger to see if you're burning
  • 12:30pm:  lunch
  • 2:00pm:  nap
  • 3:00pm:  play bocce on the sand and lose to your dad...again
  • 5:00pm:  shower
  • 6:30pm:  go out to dinner and watch the server's eyes get round when your whole crew walks in
  • 9:00pm:  drink wine and eat snack food you would never have at home

vacation now:





  • 9:00am:  check facebook, twitter, gmail, and work email.  make a mental note to respond to 3 work emails after you make coffee.
  • 9:15am:  coffee and breakfast
  • 10:30am:  send 3 aforementioned work emails while your kid, your cousin, and your cousin's kid start playing in the ocean.  scroll through facebook for just a quick second, and get surprised when your kid comes back out of the water.  say you were just getting ready to go out to join them.  dang.
  • 12:00pm:  read your magazine instead of the work stuff you brought along and feel guilty and stressed about it.
  • 12:30pm:  lunch
  • 12:45pm:  pick up call from this guy you know who is helping you plan a charity event for next week because you've been playing phone tag with forever.  feel the urgency of what he needs from you, so agree to post something to facebook, your neighborhood listserv, and your parents' group listserv by tonight.
  • 1:15pm:  nap
  • 3:00pm:  try to post about charity event, and discover that your facebook app is telling you it lost its connection over and over again.
  • 3:12pm:  give up and go find your dad playing bocce with the kids on the beach.  take an awesome picture that totally captures the moment and realize that it's so perfect you have to post it on instagram immediately.  try out six different filters, narrow it down to three, decide one is too grainy, and finally choose the one that makes it look like csi miami.
  • 3:22pm:  play bocce while periodically looking to see how many likes your photo has gotten.
  • 5:00pm:  look up best place for reservations on phone.  read reviews of seven seafood joints within a one-mile radius, and choose pirate's cove.  try to make a reservation using opentable, discover pirate's cove isn't on opentable, and call the restaurant instead.
  • 5:23pm:  shower
  • 6:30pm:  during dinner at pirate's cove, look up blackbeard on smartphone to prove to your sister that blackbeard was shot and beheaded, since she insists he had to walk the plank.
  • 9:00pm:  drink wine
  • 10:16pm:  tell your spouse to go ahead to bed without you because you still have to post about the charity event.  after you post, check your work email one last time.
  • 11:12pm:  lie in bed thinking about the best way to handle the latest wrinkle in your biggest work project until you fall asleep.

hmph.  i've done some varying versions of the second schedule, but that first one up there seems a whole lot more like a vacation to me.

i'm curious: has your smartphone changed your rituals on vacation?  for the better?  or not?