Are We Too Connected?

Are remote monitoring technologies making you uptight?


Remote monitoring systems allow you to see what's going on at home when you're not there.

There’s a reason they call vacations “get-aways.” They’re opportunities to get away from responsibilities at work, get away from the daily grind at home, get away from the ordinary stuff you do, and relax, unwind and experience something new.

When I get away, be it for a week-long vacation or just a few hours at our favorite pub with friends, the last thing I’m wondering about is what’s happening at home. Frankly, I don’t really care if the UPS man delivered that package I’ve been waiting for or if the dog snuck into the living room to sprawl out on the couch. New technologies can let me view the front porch and the living room via an IP camera remotely, but really … if the whereabouts of the delivery and the dog are that important, I shouldn’t have left home in the first place.

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And those systems that let you access programs recorded to your DVR at home and watch them on the TV in your hotel room? In theory they sound awesome, but again, when I’m away I want to get away, do something different, not watch the same silly programs I’d be watching if I were at home. Really, it’s okay to miss an episode of The Biggest Loser.

Don’t get me wrong. Remote monitoring does serve a good purpose. I would have loved for a system to alert me when hot water was spilling onto the hardwood floors of my rec room during a ski trip. I could have called somebody to turn off the main water supply and saved thousands of dollars worth of damage. Quick email alerts to cellphones of emergencies like this are the saving grace of remote monitoring.

We already spend too much time glancing at the screens of our cellphones over dinner to catch incoming text messages. Remote monitoring is just one more distraction that’s preventing us from truly getting away and enjoying our precious time away from home.

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