The family and I took a cruise over Spring Break and had a blast. Even though I feel a bit out of place in these situations I still had fun.
I was quite impressed by the quality of food, drink, and entertainment on these massive ships that S and I will consider doing another in the future, just sans kids. The kids had an OK time but the oldest spent all of her time drawing and my youngest spent his time in the arcade or between the kid’s pool and the general population pool.
…it’s always a good thing to ‘unplug’ as they say.
The one thing that I noticed on this cruise that really alarmed me was everyone’s phone addiction. There was no Internet for any non-paying mortal, you had to pay up to $30 per day to get it, so we opted not to get it. Since I’m glued to a screen during workdays, it’s always a good thing to ‘unplug’ as they say.
What I took note of was the great percentage of the guests that did buy the $30 a day package just to stay connected.
First, this cruise turned into a booze cruise for the adults. I normally don’t care these type of environments but I had a few drinks as well. The weather was perfect and I was on vacation. The music was playing and people were drinking from the start.
In an instant that social connection we’ve been having was gone
That’s when I started noticing it. People texting or on their phones. Some were uploading photos, other’s posting to Facebook, whatever. People had their faces glued to tiny screens with a Margarita in the other hand.
We docked in Costa Maya to go snorkeling as a family. By this time were disconnected from the Internet for about 3 days. After snorkeling we went to have a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants. Much to our surprise, they had free Internet! So each one of us - myself included - quickly connected and became glued to our tiny screens.
Everyone uses the Internet to fill up ‘unused’ or ‘awkward’ time
In an instant that social connection we’ve been having was gone. Everyone stopped talking around the table as we checked the news, email, and whatever else. My son took the time to download new games on his phone so he can play when shipped sailed into the Internet desert again.
I wasn’t the only one, people from our ship came to the same restaurant and ordered food only to spend it eating and glued to their screens. They completely ignored the palm trees and turquoise waters.
Without sounding like an old man yelling at the Internet, I find this quite alarming. We are by nature a social group of mammals that are meant to tell one another stories, laugh, and engage in social situations. While the Internet has been great in forming new social groups, it’s really taken us out of the ‘physical’ interaction part between people.
No one talks anymore without having their phone nearby. Everyone uses the Internet to fill up ‘unused’ or ‘awkward’ time. We now live on Twitter, Facebook, or Discord and have online personas or belong to disparate online communities. We’re constantly checking what our friends or ex’s are doing and have FOMO (fear of missing out).
How do we stop it? Should we stop it?
I don’t know if this phone addiction will be good or bad in the long run but I do know that people do like to be connected. That part you can never beat out of us.