A vacation, totally connected

There’s this button that says switch off – it would actually unplug you from almost everything. It would check you out from the virtual world and bring closer to the real world. That’s what I thought I would do during my week’s vacation, but to my own dismay, I thought I was more consumed by the device which I should have left home.

As soon as I landed in Bangkok, cheap sim cards with unlimited Internet was sort of irresistible. I got one to keep in touch with friends traveling along and navigate places in a new city. Little did I know that it would actually take over me.

And trust me, I was not alone. Some of my friends were more connected to their devices than I was. It did make me feel a bit better. At least I shut down my phone momentarily or the battery ran out too fast. And at two instances I left my phone in the hotel — that was an accomplishment!

In today’s day and age where everything is “connected” 24X7 and we have to make our presence felt in the virtual world, it might be hard to detach ourselves from all of that even if it’s for an hour or so. A lot can happen in that hour — you might miss out on so many important comments and “likes” on Facebook and Instagram; you might be  too late to tweet and retweet something, and more importantly you definitely don’t want to miss out on posting the best vacation photos and count the “likes” that those photos generate.

But it can get ridiculous, especially when you’re in a group and then a friend posts a photo on Facebook from that very location and without making any real comments or conversations or having your say, you actually press the “like” button on Facebook to show your approval. And everything ends then and there. As lame as it sounds, this is true.

Though we did make interventions and said to ourselves that we would not be using our phones, which only worked for an hour or so.

I think we’re so obsessed with our virtual personality that sometimes that it overshadows who we are. Also we have this tendency to “keep in touch” with the world even when we don’t need to, especially when we’re on a vacation. Reflecting on that week, I cant help but ask myself, “Why did I really need to be connected all the time and why not just be free and enjoy?”

I think we all might have our own versions, the answers that would satisfy us and not take us on a guilt trip for whatever reason.

For me, there was this week where I could have forgotten everything, unplugged and enjoy what was around without having to look for more. But I made a choice to not get away from the things which I could easily have. I know it’s sad.

Well, maybe next time … I’ll make the right choice.

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