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Vacation is Over

20180719_200848The saddest day of the whole year is the day you have to return to your real world life after vacation. Technically, that day has already happened for me since there was a mountain of laundry to be done, a whole house full of groceries to buy and dog to pick up from the kennel the day after we returned home but whatever. Today is the first day the hubs is back at work, camps start back up for the kids and it’s a regularly scheduled ‘work’ day.  The day has been filled with to-do’s, errands, laundry and downloading pictures off my phone.  The kids have already started the “I’m bored” bullshit and I just haven’t any patience for it. We are currently enjoying a heatwave so there’s no way I can just make them go outside. It’s 108 in the shade.  But, I digress

So, I’m sitting here going through vacation pictures and I’m struck by something I noticed while it was happening but promptly forgot. Everyone and I do mean nearly everyone, was using a smartphone.  No, most aren’t talking or taking pictures. They are staring at the screen.  This normally wouldn’t cause me to take notice, however, it’s the place we are at that gives me pause.  Our family went to Disneyland for our vacation. The most famous theme park on the planet.  Dare I say one of the most famous places in the world. Like most everyone, I had my phone in my hand most of the time. I was usually taking pictures but I also used the Disneyland Park app to book Fast Passes and upload on-ride photos to my account.  I admit I love the convenience of the app but I hated that I had to be on my phone.  It felt like it was taking away from the experience of the park. I didn’t want to have to step aside out of the walkway to book my next pass.  Yes, not all people are that conscientious, but I try to be.  Do unto others and all that.   I didn’t like having to check to see which ride was down or which ride had a long wait.  I wanted to be in the moment and yet record things at the same time. I hated feeling like I had to rely on this device. I have no real footage of any of the parades or firework shows but I’m glad I was just in the moment taking it all in.  I didn’t want to miss one minute of this magical place I may only get to visit once.

Taking in all the splendor and amazing sights brings me back to the real issue I had with the phones.  With all there is to see, why is everyone staring at a screen.  Disneyland is one of the most spectacular, amazing places on the planet. What could possibly be so interesting on that phone screen that would necessitate missing the real spectacle?  I, honestly can’t think of anything. Yet, everywhere I turned parents and children alike all had their head in a screen. The worst offender was a smallish tablet laying on the ground while everyone was waiting for a parade.  I mean here we are crammed in here like sardines in a can and some parent felt the need to bring a tablet to entertain little Johnny.  And, let me tell you that tablet clearly wasn’t entertaining the kid because the kid would peck away at the tablet then pitch it on the ground. Oh yeah, and we were all expected to dodge around it.  What in the world?!  If little Johnny can’t wait for said parade why are y’all even there?!  And, we wonder why no one has any self control and can’t understand the concept of anything other than instant gratification. I can already hear it now. Oh, you’re Mommy shaming. You’re damn right I’m shaming. The world could use a little old school shame.  Get your shit together people.  The world is right in front of us. It’s a great big beautiful spectacle and you’re missing it by staring at a screen. But, hey, if you would rather stare at a screen why don’t you give me your vacation money.  I’ll put it to good use. I’ll go back to Disneyland and I guarantee I won’t be looking at a screen during a parade.

P. S. I did hear some instant karma for this phones everywhere issue. At the foot of the Splash Mountain hill I heard someone yell, “Oh No, my phone!!!”  I cracked up.  That’s what you get, dumbass. Put it away and enjoy the ride.

Photo Credit – I took today’s photo. Check out the two ladies on the left and the group of teens/young adults on the right – all of them staring at their phones.

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