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Dual columns: should you unplug on a family vacation?

Unplugging on vacation?
Don Tate Illustration

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Will you ruin your family vacation if you stay glued to your smart phone or tablet or will you miss opportunities for online/real world serendipity if you leave all your tech at home?

Is there a happy medium?

This week's Digital Savant column is actually a twofer: I wrote about my family's recent Disney World vacation in which I decided to stay connected. It probably isn't too surprising that in the end, I found that real world around me was a lot more interesting than Twitter and email and I was able to enjoy myself and be present for my family without cutting myself off completely.

Meanwhile, in a column that ran alongside mine, American-Statesman food writer Addie Broyles recounted her own trip to Florida in which she made a decision to avoid email and social media for the duration of her trip. Even posting photos to Instagram during the trip was a no-no. 

Every family trip is different and your experiences will vary great from ours, but I think Addie and I both learned some lessons about ourselves and how we want to interact with our respective kids. Do we want our kids growing up seeing their parents from behind the glowing screen of a phone constantly or can we really make time to be completely present when the online world often demands so much of us?

The columns can also be found in Tuesday's print edition of the American-Statesman, which features a gorgeous illustration by Don Tate.

You probably have very strong opinions on the subject (we sure did).  So why not join us for a free, open Google+ Hangouts session Tuesday (July 9) at 2 p.m. Central time

We will have guests Sheila Scarborough and Undercover Tourist's  Kristi Kingston, both tech-savvy travel experts who have a lot to share about their own family vacation experiences.

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