A “Waterproof” case caused chaos, and then good vibes, on a family vacation. Credit: LifeProof

In this week’s Digital Savant column, which ran Tuesday in print and on MyStatesman.com, I talk about the supremely dumb thing I did while on vacation in Hawaii — drowning my phone in seawater — and how not having a phone for a week actually improved my vacation and made me less distracted.

Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

At first, it was scary; I had phantom phone feelings in my hands. But then, over several days, I felt liberated. I didn’t have to check my phone. I didn’t have to be online at the beach, in restaurants, in the car or anywhere else out on the island.

The forced separation from my smartphone also clued me in to what I had been missing around me, even as I was trying to capture so much of it via that 5.5-inch screen. My wife reminded me multiple times that not having the phone meant I was less distracted. “You’re not looking down at your phone all the time,” she said with relief.

In the idle moments where I would normally have pulled out my phone to browse the Web or check social media — as a passenger in a moving vehicle, or while waiting for my wife and daughters to try on clothes at a shop — I instead had to just sit. And look around. I could people-watch or daydream or compose a tweet in my head that would never be tweeted.

You can find the rest of the column here.

Speaking of vacation, here were a few items that ran in the paper that I didn’t get a chance to blog about here. Earlier in June, I wrote about family-friendly games you can play this summer (and look forward to in the fall) as the Electronic Entertainment Expo was gearing up.

The week after that, a grab-bag column with a few bits of news ran in the paper and I also did a Digital Savant Micro about the social network “This.”