Did You Make the Most of Your Staycation?

We’re going into the third week of September, and while it’s more or less a general rule of thumb to consider the first of the month, or the Labor Day in “Labor Day Weekend,” the time when summer breaks come to a close, both for the working and academic classes, there inevitably is some spillover into the dozen days or so that follow. Which raises the question: How did you spend the year’s warmest moments? Did you escape technological excess? Or did you dive deeper still?

Here we are, closing in on the final days of the season. And as we all know, this year in particular seemed be one which embraced the idea of the “staycation.” Which is certainly a sad tale insofar as economic metrics are concerned. But did you find an upside to any of it? Did the possibilities provided by social networking do anything to satisfy the desire to venture beyond town, county, state, or national bounds?

As we all know, the options availed through broadband are quite extraordinarily. Therefore, does playing games on Facebook with friends and relatives in far reaches of the US, Europe, Australia, Asia, and elsewhere make things a bit easier? Are your social circles so enthralled by what has come from Web development that you’ve taken full advantage of services available today, and thus find any decrease or halt in travel not much of a detriment at all?

Did you perhaps spend your vacation finally catching up with family that you remain distant from. Did you give grandparents, cousins, uncles or aunts a crash course in the ways of Skype and the video connections it provides - if they hadn’t learned already?

Or, do those conveniences not give you enough? Does microblogging and the idea of a neighborhood multiplayer Xbox Live marathon not quite do it for you?

As with most things today in the world of tech, it is never the case that big businesses and fresh names alike make it a point to free their schedules of releases. Spring, summer, fall, and winter are all inviting of new. Lots and lots of new. You get more ways to talk, as well as more ways to ingest information.

So it is presumably the case that boredom with the status quo becomes less common. It’s almost like clockwork. It is expected that the proverbial high will continue. One can get nitpicky about personal likes and dislikes about what is deemed great and not so hot, but on the whole, there is rarely a time for rest. That goes as much for producers as for consumers. Thus I ask: does the so-called convergence of virtual and real, or the promise of it, with all the people power it now involves, something that brings an always-on or near-always-on level of interaction that sort of balances out our innate desire to, for lack of a better word, move?

To some that might seem an open-ended philosophical query, but it doesn’t need to be taken so heavily. It’s pretty simple, really. 2008 is the year. The Web and all it involves is moving along at a fairly brisk pace. So, have things become mainstream to the point that a so-called “staycation” isn’t just a vision of camping at a lakefront close to home or trying to channel Krakauer and the travels he documents, but is increasingly about tapping a network of similarly Web-savvy friends to make the most of what’s around? Do the options the Web now provides give you the user an increased level of satisfaction within 10, 15, 50, or 100 miles that that you would otherwise pass over or fail to consider?

(Image credit: Regeneration.org)

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