By: Joelle Charbonneau
I don’t know about you, but taking a vacation sounds like a great idea. Time to read. Time to relax. Time to do all the things there just isn’t time to do while work is getting done.
And yet, I would argue that while people take vacations, it’s harder that it used to be to get away from all the things you need a break from. While you might take time off from going into the office, the office is only a computer log-in away. Or a phone call. Or a text. People know you have your cell phone handy so it doesn’t matter if you are at the beach or strolling along Downtown Disney. The age of technology means that no one is ever able to leave the office at the office.
For us work at home types, I would argue that vacations are even harder to take. Even on the days where I vow to take off there are e-mails from my agent or editor or publicists to answer, blog posts to write, and pages that have to get done by my deadline. I find it hard to ignore the call of work because it can travel wherever I go. E-mails and social media can be accessed on my phone. My laptop can come anywhere that I travel and that deadline (no matter how far) always feels like it is just days away.
And it isn’t just work that we often need a vacation from. It’s anything that causes stress. For some that might be family. For others it could be politics. It used to be that the minute you got to the airport or arrived at your vacation destination you were free of all of the things you needed a break from.
Unfortunately, airports are armed with televisions playing CNN 24/7. Social media, phone calls and e-mail keep you updated on everything you might want to ignore. Stress intrudes even when you need a break from it all.
And I don’t know about you, but I need a break!
So, as soon as my current deadlines are met, I am going to shut off my cell phone and internet for a day to take a respite from it all. No news programs. No radio updates. If someone needs to talk to me they can call my landline. (We still have one!) I plan on reading books. Spending time with my family. Enjoying life without the plugged-in feeling technology gives us.
And I’m wondering if I’m the only one that feels this way about technology. Do you find it difficult to “get away” even when you are technically on vacation? How do you deal with the every day demands that can intrude when you need a break?