Vacationing With iPhone

I don’t rate a BlackBerry at work – for which I am thankful. When I leave work I like to forget about work. But I had been wanting a smart phone for quite some time. I’m very dependent on e-mail for CUUPS and church work, and I like being able to look up something on the internet whenever I think about it. Plus any more it seems like everyone and their cat has a smart phone of one description or another.

So I did what I always do – I did a ton of reading and talked to people who had BlackBerries and iPhones. And when the new iPhone 3GS came out last month, I bought one. This past trip was my first time to vacation with more than a voice and text only cell phone. How was it? A mixed bag.

The iPhone worked very well. I connected to the Wi-Fi at the hotel and I had a cell signal in most places. The camera worked OK and gave me a chance to take a bunch of random shots on the chance that some of them might turn out well. A few did, although the lack of a zoom limits its usefulness. The GPS function came in handy when I made a wrong turn on the way back. The ability to get weather information any time was nice, as was keeping up with baseball scores.

Having e-mail was nice too. I sent my mother a few pictures straight out of the phone, and I was able to keep up with some things going on at church. While I can get into work e-mail via webmail, I can’t connect directly into the corporate server, so it was easy to stay away from work.

But I never felt like I was completely away. I could keep up with e-mail, news and even with sites like Now, I didn’t skip doing anything I wanted to do to surf the net, but I stayed in pieces of my daily routine more than usual when I’m on vacation.

It’s a tradeoff – you can’t stay connected and truly “get away.” I think it was mostly a good tradeoff, and I’ll definitely be taking the iPhone with me on future trips. But there are costs to staying connected all the time.

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About John Beckett

I’m a Druid in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I’m an ordained priest in the Universal Gnostic Fellowship. I’m the Coordinating Officer of the Denton, Texas Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans. This year I’m also serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of CUUPS National. I’m a member of the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

I write as a spiritual practice. It helps me organize my thoughts and work through ideas and concepts. It helps me evaluate my beliefs and practices against my core values and against what I know (or at least, what I think I know) to be true. It helps me interpret my experiences (religious and otherwise) in ways that are both meaningful and honest.