How did you spend Christmas? Did you put your smartphone, tablet and laptop to one side and fully engage with the festive season? Or did you spend most of your time tapping on your keyboard or playing on your games console?
Tech PRs and journalists are notorious for keeping an eye on their phones at all times “just in case I miss something” and I would suggest that at Wildfire we are much the same.
However, this Christmas I found myself in cold turkey as I was on a cruise and at sea for days at a time with no access to Wi-Fi, except at vast expense. I had given it no real thought beforehand, despite deciding to leave the iPad behind because of lack of connectivity, and it turned out to be a shock to the system.
It wasn’t just a shock for me, but for many others too if the scores of people hunched over phones, tablets and laptops as soon as the ship docked is anything to go by. Locals had cottoned on to this and the bars offering free Wi-Fi were the ones packed out with silent people just tapping away.
So, why did I miss it so much? Forget about being able to contact family back home; it was the access to information that I found frustrating. Despite the fact there was a library on board we were not able to find the answers to questions within minutes as we usually do. We were not even able to find out the name of a bridge in New York that we passed under from the numerous guidebooks and maps available in paper form.
In fact, we finished the tour with a list of things that we needed to find the answers to when we got home.
That left me pondering, what did we do in the past? I guess the question just flitted through our minds and disappeared into the ether of things that we don’t really need to know. Are we now overloaded with information?
All I know is that I was mighty glad to get back to my iPad and Wi-Fi — they make crosswords much easier to do.
photo credit: Kyle Slattery