How HUMALOGY® Added a Silver Lining to a Gloomy Vacation

Having just experienced one of the more disappointing vacations in my adult life, I must ponder how technology rescued my week in certain respects. My initial intention for a recent trip was to disconnect myself and my children from the virtual reality of our ever-present gadgets and reconnect with the natural reality of fishing, kayaking, and family. Yet after suffering through a few less-than-ideal circumstances, I was right where I was hoping not to be: plugged back into the virtual world.

At FPOV, we often refer to shifts in the HUMALOGY® Scale. We developed the Humalogy Scale to gauge how much human effort versus technology is used in a process. We work with our clients to ensure that they are using the proper blend of technology and human effort to serve their customers and help their team succeed. Through careful study we guide our clients on what can be done to increase efficiency and effectiveness.

On my quest to reconnect with nature, I rather serendipitously became so grateful for the tech tools I have available to me. This led me to draw parallels to the way this very Griswald-esque vacation would have played out so differently in my own childhood without the blessed technology tools I have available today at my disposal. Here’s the play-by-play:

Vacation Day 1: Four-hour road trip to “the lake”

THEN: I’d spend an hour the day before to plot a route to the lake on a folded up roadmap and then pray that no roads are washed out on the chosen route.

NOW: I type in the address on my phone app while simultaneously buckling my seat belt and hearing the calming voice of my GPS avatar tell me exactly how to get to my destination.

Vacation Day 2 (Early Morning): My husband develops an unfortunate stomach virus coinciding with a random sinus infection

THEN: I would have had to pull out a bulky thing called the yellow pages from the wooden desk drawer of our motel room and call a string of doctors hoping to find one that would take our insurance. Then, once again, I’d be forced to unfold a roadmap to plot the journey to the doctor and pray that the visit will be a short and uneventful one.

NOW: I log on to my insurance’s mobile site on my smartphone. The site uses my GPS settings to find a network provider near me. I call the office directly from the mobile friendly site to secure an appointment. I click the address from the mobile friendly site to land immediately on to my map app which navigates me straight there.

Vacation Day 2 (Midday):

After a shot and some pharmaceutical support, we navigate back to our cabin

Vacation Day 2 (Late): In roll some afternoon storms

THEN: Having left my husband at the cabin, the kids and I traveled to the local swimming hole, where dark clouds emerged in the sky. “I wonder what the weather’s doing?” I’d be forced to ponder, as my own mother would have thirty years ago.

NOW: I pull up my weather app and it shows me radar images of the surrounding sky; I let my kids play in the harmless rain for a bit, before we sneak out of the rain as the full storm rolls in. I snap a quick picture of the storm, which I upload to Instagram. We play board games or read books on our devices in the cabin as the rain pours down outside… all night long.

Vacation Day 3: Crappie fishing time. My husband is still sick. I’m not exactly the fishing expert in the family, but the kids were promised a fishing trip, so I do my best

THEN: I’d climb aboard a boat, cautiously bait a hook, and pray for bites. On the off chance something was caught, I’d take a picture with an awkward oversized camera and wait days while the roll of film is expensively developed at the local photo development store. Of course the photos would turn out not-so-great.

NOW: The friendly guide we hired offers us excellent and accurate fish finding technology on his boat while leading us straight to a bazillion fish where even my youngest child caught several fish for dinner. Meanwhile, I take pictures from my phone and send them instantly to my husband, who’s still running a fever at the cabin.

Vacation Day 4: “Mommy, I don’t feel good”

THEN: Daughter wakes up with a fever. Mom wonders if the vacation saga will ever end.

NOW: Daughter wakes up with a fever. Mom wonders if the vacation saga will ever end…. Some things don’t change.

If you’re wondering how the story ends, my daughter had a fever for a solid five days. On the plus side, I had time to draft this blog between loads of laundry before my vacation officially ended and I came back to the safety of my office. While I could still use an unplugged vacation, I’ve decided to embrace my gadgets. Looking back, I’m grateful for the silver linings they unknowingly provided me each day of the trip.

If I were to have assembled a road trip survival kit in the 80’s for a family trip like the one I just had; I would likely fill a trunk with a bulky cassette tape player, a shoebox full of cassettes, a sack of paperback books, roadmaps, a big ol’ camera, and armfuls of board games. That’s not to mention the cumbersome yellow pages and rotary phone that would have been provided by my motel room. Today I can fit all of this, music, games, books, maps, camera, telephone, and so much more on a device that fits in the palm of my hand. So next time I decide to take a vacation away from my devices, I’ll probably still bring at least one with me. You know, just in case.

In the meantime, if you can put in a good word with device manufacturers, I might need an oral thermometer app available for my next family trip.