PDAs Banned at UK Amusement Park

27 May

Hey Lisa, remember our debate about Public Display of Affection at Disney Parks? Well, in the UK somebody’s upset about an entirely different type of PDA: Personal Digital Assistants.

From the Alton Towers web site:

Alton Towers Resort will be piloting a “PDA Free Zone” during May Half Term (May 25th – June 1st inclusive), to encourage parents to disconnect from the office and reconnect fully with their families. PDA police will be onsite to enforce the ban and any adult caught using a PDA whilst at the Resort will be asked to report to one of five “PDA Drop Off Zones” where they can safely leave their PDA’s for the day. If the scheme is successful, it will be introduced full time.

Russell Barnes, Divisional Director for the Alton Towers Resort explains; “What we have here is the ultimate short break location where every member of the family can unwind and have fun. We feel it’s so important for parents and kids to focus on nothing more than having the best possible time, we are prepared to take drastic action to ensure that parents really leave their work behind!”

Such a striking contrast to the rumors that Disney’s got plans to use Nintendo DS as a virtual tour guide! What would those Alton Towers folks think about AllEarsNet making the Disney restaurant menus available for your Palm Pilot? And would I be turned over to Alton Towers PDA police if I used my Crackberry to call a nearby restaurant for a reservation while queued up for one of their attractions, or check in with my spouse?

I hate to see parents taking work with them on vacation, and at the same time I understand that the same work that’s distracting them is also paying for the vacation in the first place. I don’t hate the player, I hate the game: Too many workplaces are overly demanding, requiring 24/7 availability even during vacation time. But even more strongly, I hate being told what I should do to be a “good parent,” and find the phrase “PDA police” infinitely creepy.

(Hat tip: The Raw Feed, which Mr Broke Hoedown was kind enough to point me to.)

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