There has been no shortage of magazine articles and blog posts lampooning the idea of the modern family holiday. Actually, it is not the family unit these articles are criticizing as much as it is the unhealthy relationship the family has with technology.
Whether dad is checking his work emails fifty times a day, or an evening of quiet stargazing or miniature golf has been replaced with YouTube videos, the family holiday is going through radical changes. It does not matter if you are packing up the family and heading to Disney World, Las Vegas or the Caribbean, chances are you are also packing up an iPhone, iPad or MacBook.
The Proliferation of Technology
This summer, The New Yorker magazine printed a cover that is sure to be an instant classic. Entitled “Capturing the Memories,” it featured a family of four standing on a powdery white beach, each member happily plugged into their own technological device. Looking at The New Yorker cover, you had the feeling that nobody in the family had spoken to one another all day long. Mom, dad and little Suzie might have been posting pictures of themselves on holiday, but nobody was enjoying the holiday in the present tense. Whatever happened to boogie boarding, snorkelling and sailing?
This idea was further expounded upon a month later in the Sunday edition of the Boston Globe newspaper. The front page had a scathing article about how technology has changed the family holiday. In the article, hotel bellhops and front desk personnel complained that families were bringing so many technological gadgets on holiday that the rooms did not have enough electrical outlets to plug them all in. Some upscale hotels, it seems, had even resorted to charging extra for power strips.
Mom, Are We There Yet?
In the old days, the long journey from point A to point B was the worst part of the holiday. Mom, are we there yet? It is a phrase that all parents who have taken their kids on holiday have heard. However, that restless tradition is changing as well. The Boston Globe article went to say that kids, when they are plugged into their games and gadgets, have no problem driving or journeying long distances. However, once they arrive at the destination, they have become so engrossed in their technology that they do not want to get out of the car. If kids would rather live in a virtual world, then what is the point of a family holiday? It would be cheaper just to stay home, right?
No family is an island, and being connected is part of the modern world. However, nothing can take the place of personal interactions.
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