Some hotels are now offering you a chance to surrender your cell phone and laptop and iPad upon check-in. This is being pitched as a benefit.
And maybe it is. I heard about this on a radio report (HT: KYW/Philadelphia) and it was in the Wall Street Journal today, so it’s real: Hotels are offering special weekends, rooms, and/or discounts if you check your tech at the door and embark on a weekend of “digital detox.” They’ll even take the TVs and phones out of the room for you. Reduced stress! A real vacation!
From the Journal:
The services take similar approaches. Typically, they ask travelers to surrender their electronic devices upon check-in. In return, concierges provide them with old-fashioned diversions, from board games to literary classics….. The programs are tied to Americans’ seeming inability to detach their eyes and ears from their cellphones, e-readers, tablets and laptops—even when on vacation. According to a recent survey of more than 2,000 people by American Express, 79% of travelers expect to remain connected all or some of the time on their next vacation.
That would be a nightmare for me. I know I can’t go cold turkey off tech, even from my World’s Worst Smartphone (a Windows Mobile 6.1 phone with the back cover pretty much melted off). You want proof? I’M ON VACATION RIGHT NOW. Can’t you tell? No, you can’t, because I’m STILL HERE. Granted, it’s just a week off from my other job, and I intended to continue to serve you, the Nerdist reading public, all week as per usual, but, still, this is as close I get to vacation and I’m online. I travel and I bring a pile of tech with me, from the computer to a MiFi to a TV tuner to all sorts of cables and chargers. I can’t help it. It’s what I do.
And, as fellow nerds, it’s what YOU do, most likely. You’re tethered to the Net no matter where you are. You text, you use the Web, you check your email several times an hour, you’re never away. Could you use a few days off the grid? Do you ever think, you know, a couple of days without email could be a good thing? What among your collection of tech items COULD you give up for a few days — your iPhone, your game console, your computer? Share in the comments, while I continue to subvert the very idea of a vacation.