With my trip only two short weeks away from today (eee!!), one thing has me both excited and anxious: disconnecting from my New York life. I’m refusing to go international on my blackberry, and this is the first time I’m going away while working somewhere that generally expects me to be available at all times. Sure I’ll be able to check in every few days, and I don’t think this will really be a problem, but it has heightened my awareness when it comes to people who stay connected while traveling… especially on Twitter & Facebook and, as is standard ‘round these parts, I’ve collected my findings into a handy-dandy list.
1. The “I am on vacation and I MEAN it” post – these people shut down their computer, leave for the airport, post a quick status saying “flying off to…” and that is IT. They are off the grid. Their cell phones don’t work, they don’t care about your birthday, and they sure as hell aren’t responding to your inside joke wall post until after their trip is over.
2. The check-in addict – You know the ones. “Bob has just checked into JFK Terminal 5.” “Bob has just checked into Gate 7.” “Bob has just checked into Flight #546.” “Bob has just checked into Dayton, Ohio.” Like, come on, guy. You’re not even going anywhere interesting (no offense, Dayton…). At least post something with your check-in, like a picture or a funny quip. Give me SOMETHING. There’s a girl on my feed who has lately been checking into every cab she takes. What IS that?
3. The people that post every second so you’ll be jealous of their amaaaaaaazing experience – These people are my biggest pet peeve. “Omg, just had the most amaaaaaazing gelato in Florence.” “LOL AMAAAAZING TIME OUT IN VEGAS, LUV MY GURLZ!!!” “Amaaaaaaazing hike through the alps” complete with a mobile upload of them hand-feeding a goat. Shut up. You’re not even making me jealous, you’re making me annoyed. Not only do I not want to go to these places now, I know that I will never, ever be able to travel with you.
4. The people that post every second so you’ll be jealous of their amazing experience and actually get the job done – These people are my second biggest pet peeve, because instead of annoyed, I’m actually jealous, and that’s almost worse. And they’re not posting annoying things, either. They’re posting cute pictures of llamas in Machu Picchu and pictures of the kids they’re helping in Kenya and the view from their hotel room looking over the Eiffel Tower. And I turn green and it is irritating.
5. The “look at all the photos I took!” post – These people put up their status before leaving, maybe send an update or two while they’re gone, and then BAM. Come back with two 200-photo Facebook albums documenting every second of their trip. I can’t really tell if this is obnoxious or not, because I am totally this one. I assume it probably is annoying, but I also know that when these posts hit my newsfeed, I am SUCKED. IN. Seriously, like for hours. It’s bad—and it’s usually not even people I care about in any other capacity. And I’m sure somewhere out there, someone is clicking through my honeymoon album thinking the same thing.
Having experienced vacation with someone who can’t put their phone down for five seconds, the wino and I can both attest to how not fun it is to travel with that. The most important thing is, no matter which category you fall into: keep things in perspective while traveling. You wanted to get away for a reason, and the only way you’re going to come back feeling refreshed and relaxed is if you allow yourself to disconnect. The hardest decision you’ll have to make the next few days should be what you’re having for lunch–when else will that happen when you’re back in the real world?