At a braai this weekend, my husband and I were discussing our upcoming trip to Disneyworld with a friend. Said friend is very detail-orientated, and was bursting with questions about the weather, prices, length of flight, and more. All went well until he asked if we’re going to be available on Skype. This is when things went pear-shaped.
While I love that the world is so interconnected, I cringe at the thought of being available online to all and sundry while on holiday. After all, the whole point of being on holiday is to get away from it all. To not worry about work, about friends knowing your every thought, and about whether your emails are going through.
People speak of intentionally getting rid of their cellphones so as to not be available out of office hours, as our work/life balance has been disrupted with the stress of always being available. There’s no such thing as coming home and ‘switching off’… it’s more a case of switching ON, as we ‘quickly check’ our email to make sure nothing important has come through, and scribble down notes for tomorrow’s meeting, as we’re sure to forget them overnight.
But I digress. My point is that we need to take a step back, and realise when our sharing of everything on the web gets too much. There was a time when we’d wait eagerly for people to return from holiday to hear all about the trip, without leaving comments on their photos the second they are loaded onto Facebook, and when calling home while overseas would only happen in case of emergency.
As for my friend? He can see all my photos when I’m back on South African soil!