He can be incredibly helpful, it's true. But we've also gotta say that the iPhone -- along with his friends the Internet and the laptop -- has snuck in and sucked some of the best parts out of travel.
Remember when you had to unfold a paper map and ask a new friend for directions? Or when you were completely surprised by the menu at a new restaurant? Or when you didn't have to think of a hashtag to describe every darn experience?
Pardon us if we're about to sound like total downers, but we feel like we need a digital detox. Do you? Here are a few symptoms of the modern epidemic known as Internet travel-itis.
2. You aren’t surprised to find out the hotel has a swim-up bar-- you took the virtual tour on the website.
3. You spend more time downloading a museum’s app than looking at the art itself.
4. You can't just sit and absorb a firework show--you must find out how to get your iPhone to take faraway pictures in the dark.
5. Google Maps ensures you never get lost. It also ensures you never ask anyone for help. Which ensures you make way less new friends.
6. You already know when beer night is, because you started following the hostel on Twitter before you even got here.
7. You feel pressure to Skype your friends/parents/significant other during your trip, because they know you have a laptop with you. Without one, you’d be able to simply float freely.
8. You don’t need to bond with locals so you can ask about where to eat dinner-- you can just Yelp it!
9. You don’t even have to look at the physical world to get around-- all you see is that little blue dot on the screen.
10. You could order at a restaurant without even opening the menu, because you’ve already memorized it online.
11. You don't really need to chat up your seatmate for in-flight entertainment.
12. You're a panicked about getting a copy of that group shot sent to your phone so you can Instagram it. Because if you don’t Instagram it, nobody will know you’re having more fun than they are. And if nobody knows you’re having more fun, then you might as well not be on this trip.
13. You can’t quite recall the names of the famous places you’ve visited, but your Facebook and Foursquare check-ins help you remember.
14. You skim the Wikipedia page for a monument or church instead of taking a human-led tour with facts that come from a real, actual source.
15. Your carry-on bag will never be a light little satchel again-- it has to be a shoulder-aching tote with room for your computer.