The beauty of BlackBerrys, Treos, and other smart phones is that you can check e-mail just about anywhere, anytime. The curse of BlackBerrys, Treos, and other smart phones is that you can check e-mail just about anywhere, anytime. Including vacations.
It's a quandary for our times. Do you check e-mail when you're on vacation, interrupting your much-needed time away? Or do you wait until you're back home, then plow through the six million messages accumulated while you were gone?
I've tried both approaches. And neither is entirely satisfactory. On my upcoming vacation, my strategy is to leave the laptop at home and check e-mail once a day--in the morning--on my Treo. Then I'll leave the Treo in my hotel room for the rest of the day. This way, I can get the e-mail thing over with right away and get back to the vacation.
Still, nagging questions remain. Is this a reasonable, if not inevitable, compromise? Or is this yet another little capitulation of freedom? Isn't the person we would most like to be the person we are when we're on an extended vacation? And if that's true, how can we even know who that person is, if we remain connected to our workaday lives back home? Maybe I'll have some answers when I return. Or, even better, maybe I'll get so caught up in my vacation, such thoughts won't even enter my mind.