Are We Too Wired While Traveling?

By Nomadic Matt | Published September 6th, 2010

on the internet in a hostelWalk into most hostels today and you’ll find travelers with smart phones, netbooks, Macs, iPods, and large SLR cameras. Head to the computer room and you’ll find everyone on Facebook. In the TV room, most people are on their laptop. When I started traveling years ago, I rarely saw people hooked on technology. Few people had cell phones and even less had computers. No one had Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist. Now, people are buried in their computer messaging their friends while listening to music oblivious to their surroundings.

Technology has certainly made travel a lot easier. Smartphones and GPS have made finding your way much simpler. No more giant maps. When I arrive in a new city, it’s easy for me to find my hostel. I simply turn on my iPhone and Google maps it. When I need to book reservations, I do it from my phone or over the Internet. Need to stay in touch with people? Simply call them. They don’t have a phone? Facebook them. If they are like 99.9 percent of the population, they probably check Facebook quite often.

Technology has become so ubiquitous in our lives that it is no wonder traveling has become more reliant on technology. Even for those travelers who don’t spend their days blogging like me, I constantly see them online. Travelers twittering, Facebooking, Skyping, reading the news or TMZ all the while tuning out to their iPod. In Ios, I saw people playing with their phones on the beach because the pool had wi-fi. Rather than socializing with other travelers, they had been sucked into the digital world.

Just recently, I had a chat with famed writer Rolf Potts about how technology has changed so much over the last few years. He’s been traveling a lot longer than I have, and as an advocate of traveling without a lot of gear, Rolf was amazed at how much he had to learn to keep up with new travelers. “They are always online!” he said to me. After that conversation, I began to wonder if maybe we have become too wired in our travels.

It sounds ironic coming from a tech-loving traveler who spends most of his days blogging. And don’t get me wrong, technology has made traveling easier. Travel apps and Google maps make finding places and getting information accessible from your phone or iPod. Twitter brings you the latest news. Blogging allows you to get in touch with other travelers. And Facebook, for all its addictive powers, makes it easy for you to stay connected with people. If it weren’t for Facebook, I probably would have lost touch with a lot of the people I’ve met on the road.

on the internet during a boat rideDespite the conveniences of modern technology, I still believe we spend too much time on the net. I also think that travelers depend a bit too much on technology. Instead of using technology as an aid and then going out to explore the world, we become reliant on Google maps, flight apps, and more. (I am guilty of this too). We spend more time on Facebook in our hostel than out exploring the world.

Running a website takes a lot of work, so obviously I spend a lot of time on the Internet. I usually take time out and spend a day or two in a hostel online. While there, I watch the internet patterns of my fellow travelers. I’ve seen people waste their days away on Facebook simply because they lost track of time. I’ve seen people reading the news at the beaches from their smart phones. I’ve seen people play “pass the smartphone” so they could all get a chance online instead of just sightseeing. We become so hooked on technology in our own lives that when we travel we have a hard time letting go.

Because I work so much online, I make it a point to get offline as often as possible. If I am not doing work, my computer is off. If I’m eating alone, I’ll read the news from my phone. If I’m on a train, I observe the people around me. When I work, I limit the number of hours that I work so I can spend more time traveling. I know firsthand how easy it is to get sucked into the net.

Sometimes I wish I could shake the travelers around me and say, “Get off Facebook! You’re in Italy!” Technology is helpful but we need to learn to turn it off, especially when we are in a place we may never get a chance to come back to. We need to learn to turn the technology off. Then again, maybe I just need to learn to turn the technology off.

comments 51 Comments

Times are changing. 30 years ago people don’t even have guidebooks and when Lonely Planet arrived, maybe pioneer travels back then shook their heads and thought “kids nowadays rely on BOOKS to travel?” and instead of relying on local guides, that generation got stuck on a few pages from a book. They spend countless hours in their hostel reading Lonely Planet – which in our generation would be the internet.
Are we too wired to travel? It’s in our genes, it’s in our generation to be this way. However other people get their resources to travel is their perogative, if they want to go on facebook instead of meeting REAL people out there is their problem. Just don’t be like them, ask them if they’d like to come out with you – if they did, then you’ve helped them come out of it.
I believe that there is no right or wrong answer to this, we live in a very informed world and most of us come from places where ‘time is money’, we waste not trying to decipher the timetable of the train schedule in another language. We want to get to the train station and get the ticket as quick, swift and easy as possible and hop on the next destination.
Our world is also becoming socially smaller that our generation has the need to get in touch with everyone they know – with facebook here twitter there, msn around the corner – we like to keep our friends up to date and our friends would like to know what we are doing at this moment. I am guilty of going on facebook as I want to upload the photos I took the day off – I had a scare few years ago that I lost all my photos in one ‘delete all files’ accident and since then I upload all my photos as soon as possible so they don’t get lost only in memories.
I’m sure people who go online don’t spend THAT much time on the internet, an hour is excusable to get in touch, send some emails, upload photos and update their friends and families of how they are doing?
So don’t fuss about it.

Heathre

The problem with people spending too much time on the internet (and yes this includes me), is that we don’t use are intuition as much. And when we try to, we fail at it because we haven’t developed it.

NomadicMatt

Hmm..interesting point.

I’m guilty of this myself and try to make an effort to disconnect once in awhile. It’s pretty bad when you make travel decisions based on how good the WiFi is.

It goes without saying that these people miss so much. Happily, the last time I was away (in England) resented the cost of connecting so much I didn’t spend nearly so much time as I expected online. It was the second time I’d travelled with my laptop. The first time it was invaluable because I had an enforced stop of five weeks at my dad’s house (yes, even people my age have dads :=) ) because of illness and I would have gone stir crazy without it. I vowed never to travel without it again, but I think I will devise a schedule, some sort of limit, prioritize before I set off.

I also think the danger is in doing stuff for the sake of it to be able to blog it (obviously not in your case, I hasten to add) but I’ve read blogs where I’ve felt that the writers just skimmed over something or other in order to have something to write about the next day, and didn’t really appreciate what they were doing or where they were. We could be in danger of believing our own publicity!

NomadicMatt

I’ve met a lot of travelers on the road who want to blog their travels for people back home and it always seems like it’s a chore. They often feel like they have too. It’s a shame. Blogging should be fun not a chore.

Well, first up the “disclaimer”: I’m a software developer and Apple fanboy so I’m big into using technology whilst I travel. However, when I’m having a great time I don’t even remember facebook and twitter exist but they’re good for some down time. Also, I think it’s ok to be in Italy and do normal life stuff. If you want to sacrifice a day of site-seeing to catch up with friends and family online, that’s a valid choice. I’m really not into the whole “I might never come back here again” mentality and I personally think you should never travel anywhere with that kind of attitude — it’s the catalyst for many a stressed-out, frenzied, race around the globe, or Europe, or where-ever you happen to be. Plus, it’s just plain pessimistic! If I like a place and can’t get around to seeing and doing everything whilst I’m there, I optimistically resolve to go back some day. (I would like to point out at this juncture that I am by no means “rich” or even well-off. In fact, my partner and I saved up for our travels whilst I was a student and she a social worker).

To be honest, the only thing you mentioned that struck me as problematic about using technology whilst traveling was: “I’ve seen people waste their days away on Facebook simply because they lost track of time” — okay, granted, if you had something else planned and missed it because you got stuck on facebook that is definitely the height of lameness and that person has a problem. Otherwise, I don’t see how any of the other behaviours is problematic — reading the news at the beach (you could do that before smartphones and I don’t see what’s wrong with it anyway), or passing around a smartphone (the people benefiting from this evidently *didn’t* bring a smartphone and are therefore doing exactly what you suggest).

In fact, I think you did a better job listing technology’s benefits to travellers in this post than its downfalls!

There are a lot of travel articles out there at the moment saying what’s the right way and wrong way to travel. I say, each to their own.

I just had a conversation with a friend today who had her college aged sister visit her in Paris for a month. Her sister spent almost the whole time online chatting and catching up with her friends back in the States instead of exploring Paris, all the while making updates as if she was taking on the city by storm. Granted, she is young and not an experienced traveler, but she serves as an extreme of this idea of being too digitally connected when traveling.

We tend to go to extremes with this. If we’ve got work to do we’ll sit all day in a cafe or at our hostel working. Then, we’ll go offline for days. Although I have an iPhone, I’m a bit loathe to use it too much for all the apps and maps. I kind of like paper maps and getting lost the old school way.

It’s an interesting problem to face – staying connected with the people around you AND your social network online. It’s difficult to strike a balance but as you say, important that you find one.

I’m the worst at walking down the street with my phone covering my face, as I read while I walk. This is probably not safe, given half the time I’m doing it, it’s in a foreign city that with which I’m not familiar. So yes, I’ll agree: We all are too addicted to our technology. The best trips I’ve had were sometimes the ones where the Internet on my phone wasn’t working.

NomadicMatt

Fiji was amazing because there wasn’t any internet. It was great!

I definitely think we’re too wired when we travel and, full disclosure, that includes me too. I don’t think we get as lost in the moment as travelers once did. When the only communication was a short, expensive phone call or a letter at the next port, travelers spent more time finding their own way and learning how to connect more locally – now, if you feel even the littlest bit homesick you can connect with all you know back home…it’s like we’ve never left. Don’t get me wrong, I like that technology allowed us to stay connected with a sick family member back home, and helped me find a place to stay…but I think it all comes at a cost.

Norm

For me advancing technology coupled with increasingly better software allows me the luxury of travel and wonderful daily experiences with new friends” ‘ being a day trader of Debt, Equities, Futures and Commodities securities while traveling would have been almost impossible just three years ago but today with one quad core laptop and three extra monitors plus the smart phone lets me trade the four most important hours each day” ‘then its play time!

Some days it’s only a matter of monitoring or balancing market positions and nothing more.

P.S. I hate Face Book and those silly games offered from the Applications type stores!

Norm

I can’t believe how connected travelers are these days. I make it a point to disconnect as much as possible. I want to experience the place I’m in 100%.

NomadicMatt

Me too. Sometimes it is hard and it’s not until a friend says “put away your iphone” that I realize how unconsciously I do it.

Matt, I wrote a post recently on my site regarding how modern communications has seen the death of Poste Restante, and how I used to go weeks and somethimes months at a time without any communctation back home, whilst on the road. I believe that people such as yourself require to be constantly connected to enable you to run your site, but I fear that many travellers today are missing something, by not having that feeling of isolation when travelling. I know that there are many plus sides to being able to easily contact freinds and family back home, and I am by no means a technophobe but having travelled extensivly in both era’s I believe there needs to be a happy medium.

NomadicMatt

I do agree. There should be a happy medium. I’m just not sure what it is.

I haven’t been on a journey more than 3 weeks, so I’m glad I don’t really have the need to get so engaged to technology when traveling. I admit I get much help as well from the net at the hostels before I’d go out exploring the cities or places, and occasionally interact with my friends on Facebook. But I do enjoy getting lost in my way of finding my hostels etc, asking local people for directions, with the help of big maps and printed maps from the websites which I did back home.
When I travel within my own country, which has so many interesting places to be explored, I don’t get wired too much either, partly because I wanna enjoy the travel, partly because most of the places aren’t equipped with internet or wi fi connection anyway. I spent about a week without phone nor internet connection at all when I was at Togian Islands, Sulawesi (Indonesia), and that was great. It’s interesting to be off the net once in a while and just focus on the surroundings.

I agree that when traveling you should limit the technology. However, I really didn’t notice anyone going to far as much as you suggest. Yes, I too have an online business and I need to stay connected for several hours each day. Yes, more and more travelers carry laptops.

It’s part of life now. These are the times that we are in. Sometimes it’s addicting though and people get sucked into the internet world. Sometimes, we just need to get away and feel connected to those back home. Nothing wrong with that.

When I travel I do spend a few hours online taking care of business, but the rest of the time I go out and explore the area. At home, I would spend that time online and then at night maybe head out and do something with my friends.

Jessica Boston

Okay Matt, I am going to have to agree with you on all accounts. When I traveled New Zealand in a camper with a bunch of my friends we had 1 computer. I did not have facebook at the time (2005, can you believe it? hah) anyway- I was pretty much cut off from the social media world at that point, and I truly had an amazing time WITHOUT it. I can’t imagine if I had had facebook- I’d have had that gut wrenching feeling where you just need to make sure no one has commented anything new on your page, or where you feel the need to check up on your friends’ or friends’ friends’ pages- and I probably would have checked my profile every day. Without it, I’m sure I did a lot more- I hear you man, the problem is, most of us are so addicted that we just can’t help it. I know I sure can’t.

NomadicMatt

i know I have a hard time coping without it!

On the contrary a lot of technology is encouraging people to travel. How will I ever keep in touch with people at home? is a question well and truly answered. People see this website and thousands of other blogs and realise they can travel too.

It’s very easy to lose yourself in the internet, I like that people ask where I am, and I’m either around the corner from them or 6000 miles away and it is exactly the same to them. It’s very easy to update my facebook status ‘I’m in Argentina/Canada/South Africa/UK/Germany/Thailand/Australia/Japan’ etc and it isn’t even questioned.

I don’t think we are ‘too’ wired per se. As there is that option called the off button on all your devices. When we can’t turn it off then we are too wired (whether a device implanted in our head or a genuine addicition to facebook/twitter/whatever).

A few of these people you see in hostels are not just facebook surfing but running businesses or freelancing (actually you’ll probably find them in coffee shops are they are making money not trying to save it ;^) ) to be where they are sitting and in my opinion have made a good lifestyle choice in doing so.

For long term travel I’m going to take my laptop, I need it for work and quickly storing photos (I don’t want to be loading 8Gb of photos over a slow connection to online storage every week) and it’s handy for communication and a back up guide for when I’m truly lost.

For short term travel (up to 3 months – not just a 2 week vacation) it is firmly being left home. I think we get more out of travel without the wires, although I’m not ignorant enough to fall into the ‘we don’t need connectivity’ group, I reckon 3 months is very do-able without updating your online profile, you can do that when you’re sat at home.

I think this is my happy medium. Either way I’m still taking my dSLR and mp3 player – that’s got nothing to do with being wired so I don’t know why it’s mentioned in the article.

NomadicMatt

I don’t think technology is bad. I think, like you said, it has done a lot of good. But it’s the addiction I worry about. Maybe this post should have been titled “How Facebook is ruining travel but yet helping it at the same time.” lol

Thanks for the great response.

Roberto Rocha

You make it sound like travelers are ONLY spending their time online. Are you having thrilling adventures 24 hours a day, Matt?

It’s a rather moot point to argue. I could say that the mere act of staying at a hostel isn’t real travel, since you’re surrounding yourself with other travelers, not locals, effectively cocooning yourself from the reality around you.

If the tech allows people to stay in touch with home, what’s the problem with that? Travel is intensely personal, and each person has their style.

Besides, not every person is a fascinating gem that demands constant attention. After meeting some other travelers and locals, I wish I had an iPhone I could bury myself in.

NomadicMatt

True that often I am glad I have my iphone when I met those “ungem” people. But as Audrey alluded to up above, if you all you do is travel to stay on facebook with people back home, why travel? I think technology has done great things for travel. But the flipside is that maybe we are too connected and so technology is keeping us back from really exploring and losing ourselves.

There’s no right or wrong. I’m just playing devil’s advocate.

I’m not so much a traveler as someone who works with travelers and I have seen this trend really clearly. When driving long distances with private tours, I often need to stop where there are moments of cellphone reception so that people can catch up.

But I do believe that it is fine. If people choose to travel they are making a commitment of sorts to see and do interesting things, and a great deal of what they are chatting about on Facebook and Twitter is the experience they are having. I can still clearly remember when I was doing cycling trips and hikes in my twenties when I thought “If only I could tell my friends where I am…or what I’m doing… now”.

And, of course, there are still many places to go that have little or no access to modern communication channels (unless you want to connect with satellites).

When I do relief work at lodges these days it always strikes me that everyone now wants you to carry a radio (and sometimes even a cellphone where they work) if I have an afternoon off and want to go walking in the hills. Usually these well-meaning managers are a decade younger than me, but they are so safety concise. When I was growing up and would spend my days in the bush I am sure my parents worried, but there was never this thing of “You can’t do that because you aren’t in touch”

If you are in a lodge/hostel/hotel staying connected is normal, but getting out in the wild, shedding a bit of that is part of the experience. I think the real question should be a personal one – am I having the experience I am looking for while connecting to my regular world.

To me, it’s simple: If we’re busy looking down, we’re not looking around.

Like most things in life I think… It’s a BALANCE!!!

Sure technology is super helpful, but when ‘internet time’ starts out-weighing ‘people time’ you may as well have stayed at home and just looked it all up on Google.

For us, travel is about people, culture and food… you don’t need internet for that.

Like you Matt, my wife and I work online, so obviously technology is important, but we always try to limit our time on the computers, so we can get out and meet people.

I cracks us up when you see a bunch of people from all over the world, all plugged in to their macs and i-pods. When if they actually un-plugged and talked, they would open up far more amazing opportunities, make far more friends, and enjoy their travels far more…

Take control of your travels – un-plug, and go talk to some random stranger…

NomadicMatt

I think this is the perfect summary: “Sure technology is super helpful, but when ‘internet time’ starts out-weighing ‘people time’ you may as well have stayed at home and just looked it all up on Google.”

How does that saying go in English or Dunglish…about the Fox preaching passion…?

NomadicMatt

Not sure. Never heard the saying. Is it dutch?

I agree that a balance is essential if you are to survive the technology holocaust.

What pains me is when I see someone taknig in the sights while their ears are buried in their ipod.

Like come on mate, get a damn grip and starting being a part of society instead of relaxing in your Grateful Deadspace.

NomadicMatt

Like what I should ALSO do right now!

Completely shutting down technology is avoiding the problem. Using technology while traveling will not decrease nor will it disappear from our surroundings. We, as travelers, simply need to develop our willpower to strike the right balance between social media and social experiences. This is a thorny topic and one I’m with you on – I also struggle with drawing a line in the sand. I guess what I’m saying is that there shouldn’t be a line.

Philippa

When I first travelled in SE Asia I was 18 and travelling solo. Contact with home was through poste restante letters and widly expensive telephone calls made from international calling booths. Although this meant less frequent contact, the sound of a loved one’s voice over the phone was a real joy and treat whilst I moved around from place to place.
My next few journeys were similar, but email was gradually becomming available- in internet cafes which charged high high rates. Still-a message from home was always worth the ruppees, and left you with a warm feeling to take to the next town.
I have travelled with a mobile phone, both in India and across Europe. These have only been for texts and calls, and in the early days providing much interest for the local folk in various dusty Indian Villages, when stopping for a Chai and a beedie.
I’m not sure I could sacrifice the feeling that when you travel you leave that contact with the technical world and find ways to appreciate the new world around you. The memories, the conversations, the journeys, the people; all of these remain with you through the years. I’m not sure I would want to be tweeting or facebooking when I could be sat in a train door speeding across the Rajasthan dessert, filling my every sense with the glorious difference of the exotic and unusual world around me.

Adam Axon

Absolutely! In some respects the internet is taking the element of “exploration” out of travel.

Take finding a hostel for example. For starters I’ve usually got something booked prior to arrival via the net. I’ve got an address, I’ve google map’d it, worked out a route, even looked at streetview to see what the building looks like!

By the time I’m actually arrive in the city, I know exactly where I’m going and I’m focused on getting there. How many things about this new environment do I miss out on because my attention is so focused on the information I’ve got in advance?

It’s an interesting point to consider.

Looking back at my last big trip I think I was def too connected and as a result I think I missed out on a lot of exploring!

I own and operate a hostel in david panama, a backpackers resort style hostel, in my late 40′s and use the internet extensively for business and speaking to family in the US, at the same time I take time to be offline and enjoy my surroundings our pool and gardens, the nearby rivers and beaches, i often see our younger guests on-line for the entire day and into the night and i wonder why they even bother leaving home….

NomadicMatt

I often wonder the same thing.

Le sigh. When my aunts went to Europe in their twenties, they planned ahead of time ONE phone call for the three months they were gone. I can’t even imagine, but I envy the adventure and in some ways, the isolation.

On my recent trip to Honduras my boyfriend and I squabbled a bit about my THREE cameras I insisted on bringing. I like to think a lot of my dependence on technology relates to my blogging but either way I must admit I’m hooked.

Its a love/hate thing.

NomadicMatt

I love to hate how I love technology!

Stephanie

This summer my roommate and I took a roadtrip up the east coast of the U.S. We had done a similar trip the year before up the west coast. On the first trip we borrowed a GPS for our trip. But on the second trip we were a little more carefree and we left without it, and only a road atlas. We found it to be much more challenging, we found our way all the way up the east coast, only googling maps a couple of times when necessary. It was challenging, but also rewarding. We felt accomplished each time we found our way with only the old fashioned road map. It was much more adventurous. I think technology is ok in moderation, but it’s fun to do without sometimes.

I totally agree. I think that a lot of the value of traveling is in its power to isolate. Especially when traveling along. You have to face yourself. In a strange place. In a foreign culture.

I remember being alone in San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina, in 2001, with limited Spanish. I went to a book-store – remember those? ;) – and the only English novel that interested me (out of five) was Dracula. I read it, in my creepy hotel room, with a balcony overlooking a courtyard full of bougainvillea trees. Then I went to the movies and watched Family Man, with Nicholas Cage, in English with Spanish subtitles. I felt lonely, isolated, sometimes afraid and am a stronger person for it.

I don’t think we really have that now. The ability to be alone, bored, even physically lost.

And remember The Razor’s Edge? Frustrated artist comes back from WW2, no longer understands the meaning of life, and runs away to lose himself in Paris… Possible now? Only if you totally opt out.

Maybe the whole meaning of traveling is actually changing. Perhaps – forgive me – it’s now more about consumption of place.

technology is indeed changing the way we travel… sometimes it’s assuring that people are just a call/sms/facebook away but spending toomuch time on them kills the adventure and the fun of being in a new place…

Only last week I spent five hours at an airport between planes and was fascinated watching the amount of wires, adapters and gear everyone is travelling with! I am a great believer in travelling to experience new things – not being in ones own techno bubble.

PT

As someone who has travelled on and off extensively for over 40 years I can assure you technology can add to the experience. While guidebooks did exist before Lonely Planet they were as limiting as LP still is today, just as long term travel and location independent work existed way back then. As to technology as an aid; arrive in Vienna and decide you want to experience an Opera, then a smartphone can check the available performances, times, and book you a ticket wilthout wasting a day figuring out the details. Wonder if there are any interesting festivals taking place in Arkansas while you are passing through, do an internet search and you find something, maybe even discover the find your own diamond park you were getting ready to drive past. In a city Yelp or other sites can help you find a place to eat, in other areas you will still talk to locals and get their recommendations. If you are blogging for a living, it is simply fun to be able to be location independent. Blogging once a week for friends and family is easier than writing 20 postcards or letters and then finding a way to mail them. Meet someone in Paris who is travelling to Italy, exchange cell numbers and call when you get there. It is a lot easier than hanging out on the Spanish Steps hoping to run into them. Use it as a tool to enhance travel and it will benefit you. Use it to stay overly connected back home and you might miss the experience that comes from immersion in the local culture and the mindset shift that happens as you stay between to lifestyles.

It saddens me when I see commercials for new phones and gadgets and the message is always the same. Get this phone so you can have your face stuck to it constantly! Honestly, when I travel, I don’t use a blackberry or even a phone for that matter. We all got along fine without them before, it’s entirely possible to get along without them now. I refuse to buy a blackberry or get internet on my phone while I’m home and not traveling because I already spend too much time online as it is. I wonder what our kids generation will be like with technology when they get older. Yikes!

NomadicMatt

Eventually, we’re gonna have chips implanted in us. Science fiction is never wrong!

Great article and I definitely agree that people are losing something by spending so much of their vacation online, in touch. Isn’t part of the reason we travel to “get away from it all”? I find that when I take a break from technology, I go through withdrawal for a couple of days, but then enjoy it immensely and come back much more relaxed than I would have had I been in touch everyday.

Natalie

As I was told by a friend of mine working for NASA – the main device of the future 10-15 years is being developed in Canada right now. It’s a lens – like contact lenses, which they use for vision – which will have connection to WI-FI)))) Can you imagine – just one glance at a person – it automatically identifies the face – and you already are on his/hers facebook page, knowing everything you need))) And I’m not even talking about the rest of possibilities of this thing – like sightseeings and maps all the info spreading in front of your eyes up to simple commands of your brain! wired? wait another 20 years)))

“If not for Facebook and Twitter, I’d have missed out on meeting many wonderful fellow travelers in person once I was on the road. Sure, there are people you can meet everywhere you go, but developing real life connections with people you’ve connected with online is very valuable because you have a pre-established rapport.”

Totally agree with your comment (and we connected for dinner in Valencia this way)! Keeping in touch with other people I meet while traveling is extremely valuable to me, and would be all but impossible without technology such as FB and Twitter. I’ve met up with a number of friends I first met in Santorini this summer — and technology enabled all of that to happen.

Like anything else (booze, smoking, pot, etc), being connected is fine in moderation. I do agree we need to tune out every now and then, but at the end of the day, I firmly believe technology helps traveling more than it hurts.

NomadicMatt

I have met amazing people via blogs, twitter, and facebook. I would never say technology is evil. We always talk about how good tech is for travel (and as a whole I believe it has). I simply wanted to look at the flip side of that argument. While everyone is different, if we all travel just to stay connected, how much are we then really connecting with where we are?

Food for thought.

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