Every night before I go to sleep I follow the same routine – change, close curtains, use the bathroom and brush teeth, get into bed, close blinds and go through the apps on my phone, normally starting with my emails. Tonight as I finished going through the multiple discount emails, I remembered the fun I used to have when I’d come back from a holiday.
It was exciting to see how many emails I had received when I had no internet to see them. Now, with technology being what it is and almost all hotels having some form of Internet access, it’s quite rare for my emails to build up. There’s no longer that anticipation, the silent begging that went on inside my head, willing the computer to hurry up. No more sitting on the edge of my seat as Internet Explorer slowly loaded.
Instead, for £3 a day, Vodafone allow me to use my normal contract when travelling within the EU. This means 3G, or sometimes if I’m lucky 4G, access pretty much anywhere. Even better if there’s wifi. Last year in Ibiza we refused to pay €7 a day each for wifi and so each day one of us would take it in turns to share around one phone. It didn’t matter if we didn’t get on that day because then you knew you would get on the next. This year there’s apparently free wifi in our bedrooms so there’s even more chance of me accessing emails and Facebook and, more importantly, WordPress.
At first I was delighted to hear about the wifi. It meant I could keep in touch with my friends back home, or check what’s going on with Wimbledon and other TV shows I watch (yes I know that makes me a little pathetic…). But it also means I can still be brought into different discussions about who’s fault it is that we were fined for not cleaning the kitchen. I will have access to my emails, none of this waiting around. If I wanted to I could even check on my dog Baron on the live webcam from his room in the kennels he’s staying in.
So now I ask myself, has technology gone too far into our personal lives? As a family, when mum comes home from work, the TV is turned on and it isn’t turned off again until bedtime. We all sit together to eat at the kitchen table, which is more than a lot of my friends can say. The volume is turned down but the news or Pointless is on in the background. However we do have one rule of no mobile phones allowed on us during dinner and they should be on silent out in the hall. After dinner, my sister and I do the dishes and chat before moving back to the living room to watch TV. But we don’t really watch it. We’re on our phones, checking Facebook or messaging people. Mum by this stage is normally on her iPad, looking things up and sharing random bits of information with us, while Dad just zones out completely focused on the TV. This continues until we go to bed where we all continue to either watch TV or use our phones.
This routine we have found ourselves in is actually quite depressing if you think about it. Families used to talk and play games or do things as a unit, giving each other their undivided attention. So my aim for tomorrow is to use my phone and laptop less. You never know, I might find that I actually like my family!
Good night everyone, thanks for reading 🙂