When Foggy Daddy and I used to take trips pre-kid, I had a strict no-internet policy. In fact, we purposefully picked hotels without television or wireless in the room. After all, we were going on vacation to get away, to “vacate” from our life. It made sense to unplug in order to reconnect with each other. No outside contact required.
Now, it seems harder to do that. Something about having a kid makes vacation seem less about “vacating” and more about creating fun times for our child. We are not on a romantic escape, and as it often is with a baby, vacation doesn’t even feel like we’re relaxing. Plus, along with each kid-friendly activity come ready-made photo opps, perfect for Facebook posting. It almost seems like they’re a requirement (after all, if it’s not on FB, it didn’t really happen, right? I kid).
But you could also argue that it’s even more important to unplug during family vacations than couples’ retreats. Shouldn’t our time away be about bonding together, without the distractions that devices provide? FD doesn’t agree – for him, part of salvaging any sense of relaxation is playing video games on his iPad. He’d be loathe to give them up.
I have mixed feelings about it. As a blogger, I feel that I need to remain connected. I need to know what’s happening in the mom-iverse. But if I consider blogging part of my “job,” shouldn’t I take time off while on vacation, the way I would from any other “real” job? Shouldn’t I unwind without the need to know what’s going on outside our little familial unit?
I also think it’s important to take a break from technology for LM’s sake. Even though I tried my best to adhere to the “no screen time before two” recommendation, I caved since he’s almost two and let him watch Peppa Pig. But now, anytime FD or I take out our phone or iPad, we are met with a “Peppa? Peppa?” request. He’s learning young.
Tonight we are leaving for vacation to my aunt and uncle’s lake house in rural Virginia. I’m debating how much I want to be plugged in while we are there. In many ways I think I need a Facebook break – I’m worried that I’ve become a bit addicted to it. Maybe I should try to remember what it’s like to actually talk to people, as opposed to sitting around in a room while everyone is on their respective devices. Of course, this would require everyone else to agree, otherwise I’ll be staring into space while the others are glued to their screens.
What say you, FD and family (and Foggy Mommy readers)? Are you prepared to give up technology for the July Fourth holiday?
(So readers, I’m going to do my best to unplug during vacation. This will mean no Foggy Mommy until next week. Happy Fourth!)