Oh how technology advances. Remember what it was like without the cloud? The days of faxing documents and paying for postage are becoming few and far between. We now live in a 24/7 world; the world of instant gratification. It wasn’t that long ago when it was acceptable to wait 24 hours to respond to a request, but it seems those days are over.
We can’t even seem to take a vacation without work getting in the way. We all do it, our smartphones are attached to the hip, literally. One of the most stressful parts about all of this is that even if you go somewhere without service, you are still expected to respond to emails/texts.
Is there any such thing as a vacation anymore?
I just took a vacation with my wife on a promise to “detach” for a few days. The goal was no phone, no email for one week. Ha. I’d be lucky to make it over a day or two.
But this time I was successful of at least not checking email for 3 days straight. And checked it on the fourth day. Then I went again without checking for the last 3 days. I was actually pretty proud of myself. I just needed to avoid the one email. You know the one I’m talking about… The one that just pisses you off and puts you in a lousy mood. It can totally ruin a vacation, never mind a marriage or relationship. I have even gone so far as to use a “screener”. That is when you let someone else check your email for that ONE that they know with set you off. Then, if all is ok and you get the green light, you can check in.
In an attempt to have the surroundings help avoid the iPhone addiction, we chose a cruise. Pretty good on the no phone policy, but you can forget no email. All of the ships have Wi-Fi. At least to check your email, you have to really make an effort. That means registering for Wi-Fi (you don’t even need your own device, they have terminals for you), and paying an arm and a leg. Something like $50 for 100 minutes of connectivity. That works pretty well. Unless you forget that San Juan and St. Thomas are US territories and have AT&T. Imagine my surprise when 400 emails suddenly and unexpectedly show up on my phone. And then, as if that wasn’t enough, it starts ringing.
The moral of this story is that we must learn how to accept it. It is not going away. Set boundaries, if you can. Modify your expectations and finally appreciate the fact that you CAN get away and still stay connected not only to your iPhone, but also your clients and cohorts. Then you will really appreciate all of the good things that come with technology and the new reality and get out of the office and go see some really neat places. It you don’t have the self-control or discipline; you can always use your better half as a “screener”.