• We are increasingly reliant on digital items while on our break
  • Phones, cameras and tablets are now seen as essentials
  • Are we obsessed with recording and sharing everything?

Ask yourself, what would you do with your life if your smartphone and tablet were taken away from you? Sounds frightening, doesn't it, impossible even? It seems increasingly evident that in the social age we're unable to exist without out trusty, all-powerful gadgets. They are part of us.

From the moment we wake up in the morning, we are already somewhat connected. Our alarm bells will stir us from our sleep and, automatically we reach for our smartphone, because in most cases, that is where the slightly irritating sound is coming from.

We can't get enough of them, and so central have they become to our everyday lives that even on holiday, we're incapable of switching off.

Royal Caribbean International has been looking into this and it has come up with some remarkable stats that show how technology is transforming the way we experience vacations.

In fact, when the cruise liner conducted a survey recently, it found that as many as half of respondents were of the opinion that possessing the ability to use their gadgets helps to enhance the holiday experience.

We suppose this does make sense, as, after all, we can pretty much do anything with our smartphones. Looking for a place to eat? Google it. Lost? We've got a map app that will sort us out. Historic building in need of photographing? Let's give it a sepia tint and share it.

Moreover, the 'capture everything and share it online' phenomenon of recent times is emerging as one of the key reasons for taking portable devices on holiday. Some of you will remember snapping pictures on a 35mm camera, waiting a week to get them developed and pulling out the photo album when people came around.

As sweet as that was, technology has evolved the practice and everything is now  more immediate at the touch of a button. As a result of smartphones being, to all intents, an extension of our physical selves, it has modified, in part, the way we keep in touch.

In short, we keep in touch far more than we ever did, with instant messaging services like WhatsApp allowing us to send friends and family members little comical memes that serve as comical interludes to our largely average days. That now continues into vacations, powerless as we are to keep away from whatever conversation is happening back home.

Is it a bad thing that we can't put our devices down, even when we're supposed to be getting away from it all?

The Gadget Show's Jason Bradbury is of the opinion that it has its advantages. "The survey says the times when it is most inappropriate to be using technology are family meal times, the beach and sightseeing trips but I disagree," he explains.

"The mayhem that is meal time with my four, six, and nine-year-old kids is so stressful that pretending that I absolutely must reply to something on my phone is my only get out!

"Seriously though, I think it is important to see this is kind of technology as an enabler, as a much more efficient replacement for the postcard or the Polaroid."

What do you think? Are we now too dependent on these devices? Do we now capture a moment as opposed to experience it? Does it make holidays better, more engaging and easier than ever before? Or is it more stressful, keeping in touch with things that we may be missing out on back home, & getting extra insurance to ensure that our precious technology is covered, just in case? We'd love to know your thoughts.