Technology-free vacations are known as a chance to get away from it all. In a world that is so interconnected and stressful, they give the average american family the opportunity to ‘unplug from the real world.’ Studies have shown technology such as computers and smartphones are major causes of anxiety and stress– encouraging these technology free trips.
For teens, going on a trip with their family — and not being able to use their phone– doesn’t sound as comforting.
We are dependent on our smartphones for information, communication and entertainment.
It has become a habit to pull them out in order to escape an uncomfortable situation. Whether it’s boredom or the need to find a restaurant, our smartphones are always there to help us.
We have become so attached to our smartphones that it’s not them that causes anxiety, it’s being without them. New studies have shown that the need for technology has grown as our generation expands and develops, making it almost impossible for anyone to travel without some means of communication. This raises new questions about these technology free trips and whether or not they are as effective at relieving the stress of everyday life.
In order to find the actual source of anxiety, you have to look past what technology is today.
Before there were apps for fun and other entertaining factors, most technology was associated with one word: work. Typing up papers, executing presentations and holding conference calls were the daily demands of an average businessman and his ever growing dependence on technology. But now it has moved out of the work space and into the home.
TVs, computers and cellphones are now a part of everyday life
Jillian Catalano, a sophomore at Leesville, said that she checks her phone in between every class and occasionally in the classroom.
“I’m not on the internet [during class], but if I get a message [I’ll check it],” said Catalano.
The obsessive way we use technology today can cause anxiety, serious lack of sleep and trouble with relationships. Technology-free vacations may be a form of therapy to prevent these problems from developing in our own lives.
“I don’t see why [you would go on a technology free vacation]. I don’t think technology is stressful,” said Catalano.
Catalano spent the summer relishing in the natural beauty of Utah’s national parks that don’t have any cell service.
“It was just kind of annoying, you couldn’t bring up the internet. There’s nothing more to do when you get bored,” said Catalano.
Nathaniel Brooks, another sophomore, has a very cynical view of technology and said that if he had the opportunity to go on a technology free vacation, he would.
“[Technology] can help people who might be struggling in school but it also can be a way for others, who do not know that it is hurting them– it can cause social issues in their life,” said Brooks.
He argued that cell phones build barriers around people, preventing them from interacting. A technology free vacation would destroy those barriers and open teens eyes more to the world around them, if they are open to that new experience.
Catalano did not go to Utah with the intent to take a break from the real world. She made it very clear that she does not see technology as stressful and sees no need in taking a break from it.
Brooks is more skeptical and sees the possible consequences of overusing technology. If he were to go on a technology free vacation, he would appreciate the opportunity a lot more.
Technology, when used obsessively and inappropriately, can harm a person’s physical, emotional, and social health. When open to the experience, technology-free vacations are a therapeutic way to restrict technology’s control of everyday life.