Digitally Dependent

Us letting a sky lantern go in Phuket, Thailand

Us letting a sky lantern go in Phuket, Thailand

Over January and February 2013 I travelled through South-East Asia with a group of friends. It was an experience that I knew was going to be challenging. I had never travelled overseas before and only travelled for one or two weeks at a time domestically. This trip was going to be the longest amount of time I have ever spent from home and to intensify this it was taking place in a foreign country with a vastly different culture.

Sitting down with my friends to organise this trip we started our research where everyone would, online. We researched countries, flights, accommodation, events, what the weather was going to be like, practically everything we could think of. Furthermore we read reviews and asked questions to get the best idea about where to go, where to stay and what to do.

Thinking back on this trip we relied on the internet immensely. It gave us the ability to research, book and pay for flights and accommodation before we even arrived. Once we landed in Bangkok, Thailand the first Baht (Thai currency) I spent, besides on the taxi to the hotel, was in an internet café in order to access Facebook. I needed to let my family know I arrived, but perhaps even more importantly I just needed to scroll aimless through my newsfeed for a couple of minutes in order to feel like I was back at home, in a familiar environment once again.

Throughout the next six weeks we travelled through Thailand, Loas, Cambodia and Vietnam. Almost every day we would all sit in a small, sweaty room and pay 50 cents for an hour or so to access Facebook, check emails or book our next bus, plane or train. Thinking back on this trip made me realise just how much I, and my friends, relied on the digital world in order to travel efficiently and effectively but also just to feel as though we were back at home, sharing stories with friends and family. Facebook was where I turned when the culture became too much and I felt lonely or homesick.

I thought I would start my blog with this little anecdote about my life and dependence on the digital world. In closing I think this simply points out just how much of our lives today depend on the internet for information, organisation and socialising rather than reading magazine or watching TV. Therefore as our attention becomes increasingly focused here so should our modern day marketing efforts.