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Over the last few years, every time I have taken a vacation, I have taken along my Macbook, thinking, well, you never know when you might need to check flight schedules or emails or something else. Given the nature of my profession, it has taken a […]

chrome-charticle Over the last few years, every time I have taken a vacation, I have taken along my Macbook, thinking, well, you never know when you might need to check flight schedules or emails or something else. Given the nature of my profession, it has taken a lot of self-control to limit my Internet usage and, thus, deal with Internet Anxiety Disorder while on the go.

And despite my best intentions, I end up checking the news, writing one or more blog posts, and generally spending time answering emails, working, and therefore missing out on hours of an opportunity to gaze at the beauty of Wyoming’s mountains, laze on Miami’s beaches or simply soak in the billion shades of India.

Apparently, I am not the only one who has this issue. Folks from LogMeIn recently conducted a survey over on LinkedIn. The question they asked was: “Do you plan to stay connected during your summer vacation?” A surprising 85 percent of small business workers said they planned to stay connected during summer vacation, and 60 percent intended to check email and voicemail at least once a day.

I bet now that we have superphones such as Apple’s iPhone or T-Mobile’s MyTouch and Palm Pre, we will be even more connected. I wonder when in the future the notion of vacation will be less about beaches, golf or mountains and more about no connectivity. (P.S. Lately, I have been experimenting with no computer usage for 10 hours a day. That self-imposed Internet diet is helping me think clearly.)

  1. A Wonderful woman I met while working in the Valley told me, prior to us leaving for a Big Sur Jaunt, “I can stay un-wired for 3-4 days, after that I start freaking”. I didn’t even think for second that she was joking. I am self employed (gainfully again), as am channels analyst, and I am always on call with too much to do. I need to be connected and therefore I know when to check, when to respond, and I don’t idly surf. When I’m at home base, I have a schedule for reading my professional news feeds.

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    1. But Sir, I guess the question in your case would be like, “Can you do without surfing internet for any damn thing?”. Because people in many many parts of world still do! :-)

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    2. Stacey Higginbotham Monday, July 27, 2009

      Alan, as more people become self-employed either as freelancers of some sort or as entrepreneurs, I think the idea of no connectivity is an impossible dream. I can stay offline (for work) for an entire vacation, but it’s because I know that Om and others are taking up my slack. For the self-employed that’s a lot bigger issue.

      Also I think that while I love covering broadband, after having a kid, I’ve found a passion in my life that exceeds my news passion, so I’m able to more easily disengage. As she grows older, I imagine my priorities will shift back to connected vacations.

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  2. Loved the post. when i recollect my last few vacations, this is exactly what i have done. I end up using my laptop everywhere i go. And i do have friends on beaches who are doing the same thing that i am…Sure the definition of vacation should be revamped. vacation is a day without internet

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  3. There is probably a support group idea here! :)

    Seriously, the only time I can really get away is when I go to the lake. It’s a place called Holiday Shores, MO – private lake that I have access too. There is NO CELL reception, NO INTERNET. The lake is man made and surrounded by hills full of lead (big lead/copper mines surround the area – mostly old and abondoned). That is about the only time I am guaranteed on being not connected.

    Maybe a support group/resort with no wifi and no cell connectivity – somewhere totally off the grid? What a biz idea if we could get some funding! :)

    Rex

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    1. I am totally down with a support group. Especially if it involved cooking and eating and no tweeting ;-)

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  4. Having moved out from the terribly connected world of Mumbai advertising, into the beach town of Goa with a more looser schedule, I will have to say that the tools are a result of the lifestyle.
    If we can change the lifestyle, we won’t need the tools, viz. friends of mine who leave their office cells in the office when they go on a vacation.
    This is despite the fact that most companies encourage otherwise, e.g. HP who have a policy that calls received during weekends or off-duty hours, will be reimbursed to the employee.

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  5. you experiment with no internet 10 hours a day, meanwhile they might as well put a chip in me – internet internet internet! =)

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  6. A while back I wrote in a blog entry on this topic:

    “Somehow we’ve gotten to a point where we are always working. Back, before I was self-employed, when this happened to me, I was under the impression it was because I was vital to the company. I felt I was the only one who could fix things. Here we are, in a company with thousands of employees, and I was the only one who could fix things. And if I wasn’t available 24/7 to fix things, I’d lose my job, be homeless, and starve to death in an alley. What an odd combination of ego and low self-esteem.”

    I don’t think I’m the only one. Most people I speak to who feel the need to check in daily while on vacations have the same belief that the company (group, department, etc) can’t survive without them and if something goes wrong while they are away they will be fired, demoted, found out to be a fraud.

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  7. I just saw an advertisement on top of this page for Intel’s tool called IT Director which has a tagline which says, “One less thing to worry about”. Or is it again, one more thing to worry about, if it succeeds like they might have designs for it to?

    I think I am very much addicted to so called “staying in touch with friends worldwide and everyone of my generation too is the same way addicted. But I am sure, like every addiction this addiction is a problem too and if things in life get balanced we might get away with this addiction. If somebody out here really really is not addicted, I sincerely appreciate the person.

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  8. The great thing about living in Las Vegas is that if you enjoy hiking or mountain biking — or if you want to see Area 51 — you easily can be out of cell range — at least with T-Mobile — for an entire day only right outside the city. A weekend trip into middle-of-nowhere Utah or Arizona, or Death Valley, accomplishes the same thing. My wife is an attorney, and she describes the experience as being unchained from a weight (her BlackBerry) that is pulling her underwater.

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  9. Recently had a vacation at Bali, with no mobile, no internet… best holiday ever! :)

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