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a blog by Chris Barrow


Our holiday hotel for week one, The Melia Zanzibar, was stunning in every department from accommodation, through food and drink to customer service.

Even more surprised than usual, therefore, to see families “divided by devices”.

At breakfast, lunch and dinner – Mum and Dad on smartphones and children on tablets – nobody talking to anybody.

When my kids were small (in the 90’s) – we got off the grid in August – most often a 2-day drive to Tuscany and 2 weeks in a rented villa, investing the days in shared experiences.

I can remember taking my mountain bike to Siena on a roof rack and rising at dawn every day to cycle 3 hours before breakfast – then spending the days around the pool or sight-seeing and the evenings over endless meals in the villa or local villages.

Nobody was connected to the internet – not even a mobile phone.

We were engaged with each other.

How times have changed.

Its bad enough at the local pizzeria in Hale, where on Friday evening we witnessed the same phenomenon.

But in a 5-star tropical island paradise hotel?

They could have stayed at home and saved the money.

The internet is connected and divisive.

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