I love technology so much. (Can you tell? I’m a blogger on the Internet.) So far, my two-year-old doesn’t completely understand the joys of technology addiction, but I know that he soon will. I try my hardest to remain unplugged for periods of time throughout the day, but I’m still not above checking my Facebook feed or even Mommyish while he and his brother rage/fight play on the back porch.
So, here’s the thing. I have been chomping at the bit to go on a family vacation ever since I got pregnant. This is something I have fantasized about in my mind because I have very few happy family vacation memories from when I was a kid. My husband and I both work at home, so we set aside money for vacation as a top priority. (Translation: If we don’t make a set plan to leave the house, someone is going to lose it.)
In my estimation, booking a vacation with my family is just a few short years away. You may be wondering why I don’t want to spend the cash on a vacation with my young children at the present moment, and I’ll be happy to answer. I don’t want to pay for my kids to go on vacation with me until they can remember it and thank me for it. Selfish? Maybe. Until that time where my children can prove that they can retain memories, they’ll be living it up at Grandma’s house. It’s a win for everyone.
The point of the matter is this. I am beginning to see “forced family fun” vacations as an even higher priority—both for the purpose of making memories and for the opportunity to unwind and unplug from technology. It used to be that parents went on vacation because they needed to get away from the office and reconnect with their loved ones. Nowadays, kids need the same opportunity to disconnect and reconnect because they are just as plugged in as we are.
In researching this topic, Holiday Cruise Line confirmed that my suspicions are true. They stated, “Parents everywhere are struggling to keep their kids, especially their teenagers, off of their phones and social media. Parents want to get their kids more involved with their family, living in the moment, and spending more time looking up instead of looking down at their phone.”
Sadly, I would have to agree with this. My kids are far from teenage, but I know they will be there very soon. My husband and I have always prioritized vacation for ourselves—to reconnect and keep the spark alive and all that jazz. Now that we have kids in the picture, they will soon become part of our family vacation plan. They need the chance to get away from their plugged-in lives and reconnect with family, just as much as we do.
Hopefully, the novelty of a fun family vacation will be enough to distract my kids from staying plugged in to social networks. I know that every time I go on vacation, it is a temptation to want to stay up-to-date and connected with my Facebook newsfeed—or, even worse, to Instagram and hashtag every marvelous thing that I do to prove it actually happened.
Holiday Cruise Line adds, “There’s so much for you to do on a cruise. Whether it be going to a show, sitting and playing by the pool, playing shuffle board and having fancy dinners. And that’s not even mentioning all the great side adventures you can take when the ship ports. Your days are so action packed and engaging your kids won’t have time to tweet, gram, or post anything to any social feeds.”
I’ve been looking forward to a family vacation for years, and this is just one more reason to do it. When we’re finally ready to book that big family getaway I’ve always dreamed of, I’m going to have to set the example first and keep myself accountable. No happy family Facebook status updates, no Instagram pictures of sunsets, and no live tweets of my cruise excursion. Don’t bother me—I’m on vacation.
(Image: NOBUHIRO ASADA/Shutterstock)