Last year, I made one huge mistake – I took my smartphone on holiday. And the reasons were entirely non-work related; I wanted to ensure I had a decent mapping system to hand (GoogleMaps) and a device on which to store the various holiday tips I’d picked up leading up to our departure.
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Unfortunately, and as useful as those things turned out to be, I kept checking emails, receiving social media notifications and – most frustratingly – several calls from work-type people. It didn’t ruin the holiday, but it certainly made it less than relaxing.
Smartphones have rapidly become essential devices and are the primary vehicles most of us use for communication and staying in touch with loved ones, but we shouldn’t consider them surgically attached.
In this post, I’m going to suggest something that, on the face of it, may sound absolutely bonkers, but bear with me, for here are six reasons you shouldn’t take your smartphone on holiday:
1. Someone Else Will Have One
Unless you’re holidaying alone, it is unlikely you’ll convince everyone in your family to follow suit and, with 6.1 billion smartphones expected to be in operation globally by 2020, there’s no getting away from the fact that at least someone in your party will have a device to hand should you need to make an important call (tip: you shouldn’t).
2. Notifications Aren’t Required On Holiday
Think about the smartphone notifications you get. What do they relate to? Most likely, it’ll be news (you can get that via the paper), social media updates (who cares what Uncle Bob is doing with his new motorbike while you’re sunning yourself on a beach?) and weather warnings. Notifications are useful when you’re sat at home on the couch or at your office desk. They provide no use whatsoever on holiday.
3. Email Isn’t And Never Will Be A Hobby
Taking hobbies on holiday with you is a great thing to do. Your DSLR camera, guitar or sewing kit will make perfect holiday companions, but email won’t. Ever heard anyone describe email as a hobby? Nope, neither have I.
4. You’ll Get More Exercise
Holidays are definitely for relaxing, but they also offer the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and make the most of the fresh air. Combining a bit of exercise with R&R will make sure you return to work fully refreshed. If your head’s buried in your smartphone for the entire time you’re away, you simply won’t get to see the great outdoors as much as you should.
5. Your Family Will Love You For It
“What are you doing on your phone?” asks your partner, again. If that question has been asked all too regularly on previous holidays, it’s because you are using your smartphone exactly when you shouldn’t be. The absence of that device while on holiday will encourage you to spend proper, quality time with those you love.
6. You’ll Love Your Smartphone Even More When You Return
There’s no doubting the fact you’ll start to miss your digital companion towards the end of your holiday, but that’s no bad thing, as absence makes the heart grow fonder and, when you’re finally reunited, it’ll feel as fresh and new as the day you bought it.
I’m not suggesting this is an easy tactic, because I know how tightly manacled we all are to our smartphones, but just one holiday without it, although painful at first, will show you exactly what you’ve been missing. Give it a try!