Sunday, October 18, 2009

Activity # 4

Activity # 4 (Lab #7) Story Time!

Ok Campers it's story time. Lets hear about some family vacations!

Wireless in the Wilderness

By Catherine Pratt

"For years now, my family has taken an annual summer vacation to a wilderness resort in Michigan. There, the seven of us were joined by the rest of my mom’s family: her parents, her brother, his wife and two daughters, and her sister, her husband and twins sons. Because it is in the middle of nowhere, there was no cell phone service or internet connection available for the residents. So we were always guaranteed a great time of family connection because there were no outside connection options. All our activities: canoeing and tubing, hiking and wildlife watching, fishing and eating were done as a family. It was great to get away from the world for a while; to feel completely isolated and unified in our little family unit. We would arrive exhausted and completely worn out from a year’s worth of stress and worry and leave rejuvenated and reinvigorated, ready for the next year. The parents really appreciated the break from work and life’s pressures as well as the fact that the teens had to interact with everyone else rather than just “tune out” and be plugged in with their friends back home. Of course the teens were a little annoyed that their phones and laptops wouldn’t work but we all had fun so a week without friends wasn’t too bad.

"But last summer everything changed. When we got to our massive log cabin we discovered that there was limited cell coverage and free Wi-Fi across the entire resort. The whole vibe of the vacation was thrown off. My uncles and dad were checking their work emails and getting work related phone calls all week. My grandparents kept calling the men working on their house repairs and all the teens were constantly on facebook and texting our friends instead of interacting with the rest of the family. Only my mom and my aunts seemed to be able to resist the pull of technology while we were there. But they quickly got frustrated that everyone else was using their phones and on their laptops instead of relating to the family. So after a few days they put a ban on technology except for late at night when the majority of the family was asleep. The men seemed to appreciate the block, and though the teens were bummed at first, we quickly forgot about our lack of connection as the vacation started to feel much more like it had in years past. After we locked away the cell phones and laptops, everyone cheered up and had an enjoyable time, just like any other year. The ability to use technology that was putting a damper on our vacation but we cleared it right up and had fun in the end. Vacation is just not the place for technology, we needed a complete break to truly catch up on sleep and interact with our extended family."

Away from the “O.C.”

By Colleen McCollough

"Growing up with two brothers and two sisters was, at times, a three-ringed circus. Although there were hectic times, we also had great opportunities to spend quality time with each other. The best moments I remember with my family is traveling. A vacation was something that we all needed; something we planned and put aside time for. My family rarely would have spontaneous vacation; not only because of my Dad’s work schedule, but because of all our sports events, recitals, etc. It was a nice break for us, away from the bustle of our home town. Driving to the Rocky Mountains in our thirty-one foot motor home was a yearly occurrence with my family. As usual, all seven of us would occupy the front one third of a vehicle that had a kitchen, dining area, bathroom and a double bed in the back bed room. Everyone had their own spot and none of us kids would fight about who sat where, because we were just happy to be going on a trip. We were all confined in a small area, didn’t have cell phone services, and there would be no computers where we were going. There were defiantly limited activities, but we always would try to make it fun. We quickly discovered that it was easy for us to have fun with each other in a very different way then what we were used to at home. We were forced to interact with each other, but we slowly grow to love it. All and all my vacation experience was a positive one and made me realize a break from technology is good to help strengthen our relationships. As you know it is hard to survive and keep up with the world without technology, but I strongly advice you should try living without it for a while!!!"

Wasn't that fun? Here's what we think about it:

The average American takes 13 days of vacation a year. And even while on “vacation” 88 percent of Americans carry electronic devices to communicate with work and 40 percent log-on to check their work email. Our families are clearly no different from the average. But in both cases, things improved when we took a break from technology for a while. These days, life moves quickly and it’s hard to catch your breath, so when you have the chance to take a break and slow down for a little while, do it!


  1. You know, you don't think about certain things until someone tells it, and honestly, these stories sort of make me want to not get online as much and just bond with my kinfolk.


  2. I agree that taking a break from technology can be beneficial.

  3. I think its interesting that you guys were able to relax more since you didnt have technology

    -Christina Brooke

  4. I really thought your stories were very telling! You seem to understand the effect technology has on vacation and life in general. Is it even possible to get away from the web any more? Can we get off the grid? It's getting harder and harder to unplug and I like how you tell your story of the consequences of being plugged in. Overall, your blog is very creative and whimsical and you seem to really have done some hard work trying to understand social capital in your lives. Whoot!!!!!! Great work.