When new technologies are developed, are older technologies become cheaper and thus more assessable to people, there always are changes in social interactions. The availability of cheaper laptops and smart phones have had a direct affect on travel. Being able to easily communicate to people thousands of kilometres away has had several effects on how travel is happening now. These effects include:
Staying in hostels today is a lot different than ten years ago. Back then there were generally a couple of computers available that people would use to check emails and surf online a little. Now, as the cost of lap tops has come down in price a lot, people feel more secure with bringing a lap top with them while they travel. What has happened is that people are more engaged now using their computers to talk to people back home then the people right next to them in the hostel. A social norm is prevalent that people generally don’t disturb people on computers and people now tend to disengage from people right there around them.
More organized less spontaneous
With easy access to computers another large change is that people tend to book their hostels ahead of time and reserve. Often this means it is that much harder to just walk in and hope to get a spot. This gives security to the traveler coming in to town that they have a bed, but at the same time it also reduces, a fair bit, the spontaneity of travel when perhaps you would meet someone cool on the train and decide to stay at the hostel they are staying at. In that vein also by booking the days in advance, it kills spontaneity to leave earlier or change hostels.
People back home more connected than ever to trip
One advantage of sorts is that more so than ever people not on the trip are connected to it. With pictures going up on Facebook their account never hums as much as when a person is traveling. The result is even more messages to keep up with and more attention that draws the traveler away from the place they are.
Never Been Easier to meet up with people
I better say one positive at least; it has never been easier to meet people on the road. Facebook and easy access to smart phone and lap tops makes, the once tricky task, of meeting in a foreign country that much easier. This is a great advantage especially for newly made travel friends meeting up again some place a little further down the travel road.