Roger L. Simon

Has technology murdered vacations?

Here I am on magnificent Bainbridge Island again. The temperature is about seventy. The skies clear. Flowers are blooming everywhere. Deer are frolicking in my back yard. And what am I doing? I am typing this.

Earlier this morning I was checking Drudge, my email, Twitter, Facebook and PJM, not necessarily in that order. Then I had a quick peek at the WSJ and the Financial Times.

I’m supposed to be on vacation. Frankly, I should have my head examined. In this modern world, we are too wired to relax. The Internet has murdered vacation.

I know, you’re saying, shut the damn thing off. But I can’t. I’m addicted.

For some people, it’s crack. For others, alcohol. Still others can’t get enough bacon cheeseburgers. But I’m on Wi-fi, 3G, 4G, whatever G… forever.

And worst of all is “social media.” Whoever gave it that name? It’s anti-social, in the extreme. Not only does it discourage talking to another human being personally, it’s put an end to looking at the world around us. Goodbye Wordsworth, goodbye Shelley, goodbye nature in general.

Yesterday, while walking through what’s known locally as the Grand Forest, an awesome agglomeration of Douglas fir and cedars with little creeks and bridges out of Hobbit-land, instead of staring at the wonders around me, I was mesmerized by the screen of my iPhone, answering a never ending stream of tweets, emails, not to mention alerts, one reminding me that I was in the Grand Forest and the GPS was on.

So what am I to do, dear reader? What is the cure? Every time I consider going cold turkey, I am flooded with “what ifs”? What if the stock market crashes? What if Israel bombs Iran? What if Obama resigns in favor of Sarah Palin? If I’m not fully wired, I will be the last to know. And I’m the CEO of a media company!

So I’m trapped. Maybe in the future this will be even simpler. We won’t have a choice. Our connectivity will be implanted in our brains. We will be wired from birth. Everyone will know everything all of the time.

How relaxing that will be. Who needs vacations?