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On holiday with Google

Tanya Goodin
Tanya Goodin
30 May 2008

Another rainy Bank Holiday spent in the soggy English countryside and another article in the press complaining that because of technology we are all ‘forced’ to spend more hours working than ever before by virtue of being connected to the net via BlackBerry’s and iPhones. The article even goes on to say 60% of people admit to sleeping with their mobile or BlackBerry under their pillow in case of an urgent call/message at night (guilty as charged).

Honestly, what are they all complaining about? Personally my enhanced connectivity has enhanced my work-life balance and made my holidays immeasurably more enjoyable than a few years ago.

Take the last rainy Bank Holiday. Holed up in a chilly cottage and only making forays to the local pub through the rain, my BlackBerry was able to settle those vital bank holiday dilemmas quickly and painlessly. How tall is Lewis Hamilton? (Because those f1 car cockpits are tiny aren’t they?). Does James Bond have a middle name? How many VCs were won at the battle at Rorke’s Drift? And what’s the difference between a game and a sport? Specifically how on earth can darts be a sport and not a game when no discernible physical fitness is involved?


Now what would have happened ten years ago? Heated debated would have descended into drunken belligerence.I would have insisted I was right. I might have tried to phone a friend to prove my point who would have been unavailable and finally the night would have descended into huff and sulking (me I’m afraid). Finally, days later, I would have found someone or something who could verify the correct answer and made a triumphant phone call – but the moment would have been lost and those particular people would have avoided rainy pub evenings with me ever again (you know who you are).

Contrast then with now. Each debate was settled swiftly with a quick Google search on various BlackBerry’s and iPhones (I’m still smarting that my insistence on knowing for a fact the number of VCs won at Rorke’s Drift was proved sadly incorrect…) and we moved on. Much fun was had by all and in between I looked over a few emails which means when I get back into the office I’m on top of everything and don’t need to plough through a huge email backlog wasting half a day. (Apart that is from wasting an hour deleting the emails that wont sync with my Outlook desktop when I delete them on my BlackBerry – but that’s for another post).

So enough moaning about how ‘trapped’ we are by technology and let’s have a lot more celebrating about what it’s done/is continuing to do for us. Let’s face it English Bank Holidays are a trial for all of us and I’d rather have Google with me as a holiday companion than a pack of cards anytime.

(And the answers are: 5’7", no and 11. You’ll have to come to your own decision about darts I’m afraid as Google wasn’t much help – but the picture above might steer you towards the conclusion I ended up coming to ;-) ).



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