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Chris Murphy
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Why I Wish I'd Brought My Laptop On Vacation

I'm a vacation zealot--I'm all about unplugging, leaving the office behind. But this time, I took it too far.

I'm a vacation zealot--I'm all about unplugging, leaving the office behind. But this time, I took it too far.Let's face it, sometimes it's more stressful to try to leave it all behind. I've read the articles about how unhealthy it is to drag the gadgets along. I've seen our coverage of the options for hitting the road without a laptop in the wake of the terrorist threats.

And last week, I dogmatically left my work laptop at home before loading up the family truckster for the 10-hour drive to a seven-day beach vacation. But there was one thing hanging over me, one thing I wanted to check about an article I had running in this week's magazine about IT strategy changes at the mortgage financing company Freddie Mac. If I could've popped down for 10 minutes to tap the Wi-Fi network at the coffee shop, I could've put it to rest and cleared it off my brain. Instead, it hung over me, ever so slightly, for several days before I resolved it and could truly leave work behind. I left the laptop at home out of principle, and it made life more stressful, not less. Mobile technology isn't the devil we let it be. If we use it to make it easier to relax by a lake on vacation, we win. If we let it be a ball-and-chain that leaves us pondering a trip to the cold, dark bottom of that lake, then, well, we're sunk.

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