Do you find yourself pulling your phone out as soon as you enter a café, checking for Wi-Fi?
Do you spend all your time trying to capture ‘candid’ moments to share on Instagram?
Do you feel like you haven’t really been somewhere if you didn’t check-in on Facebook?
Do you get annoyed when you miss the perfect addition to your Snapchat story?
If you answered yes to any of these, you may possibly be ruining your own travelling experience.
That’s right. This experience that you saved for, planned for and looked forward to for months.
Have you formed connections? No, I don’t mean the LinkedIn kind….I mean connections with the land, the people and the culture.
Granted, some photo ops are necessary. (Hands up if you are actually an Italian Goddess, responsible for nearly pushing over the Leaning Tower of Pisa…. No? Just me? Awks….) But when you are experiencing your holiday through a screen can you really say you lived it?
There are so many moments that pass you by when your head is buried in a screen. Moments you can never get back. Moments that can define your travel experience. That can change how you view the world.
Travel has the potential to enlighten you, educate you, fulfil you. To spark a passion in you that can never be quite fulfilled (I am sure you are all familiar with the term wanderlust). But if you are constantly checking and updating, this will be something you never experience.
Alarm bells should be ringing if you feel chuffed when you haven’t updated Facebook for a couple of days, or if you couldn’t scroll to the end of your Instagram feed, or if you haven’t been able to open your Snaps for awhile.
Social media can be a great resource. A tool for sharing and connection. But when you abuse it, when you become addicted, it can rob you of some really special moments. Are you wasting your time in your hostel while you check out what everyone at home is doing? Why?? What is so profound about these updates that you will allow them to steal away the precious and limited time that you have to travel?
When you think about it, it doesn’t make sense does it? That we allow these moments to be snatched away from us for the sake of viewing a Snap that was probably of someone’s dinner anyway? Social media equals instant gratification. You feel validated by likes and comments and views. You feel important. But that’s the thing, you don’t need to rely on those things to be of value. You are valuable without the likes, comments and views. You are the sum of your experiences. These moments that are passing you by, are the moments that define you as a person.
Or as a bot. You decide.
Stop and reevaluate your priorities. Look back on your travel experiences so far. What can you remember? A whole lot of selfies and not much else? Not really life changing, is it?
You will never again be in this place, at this moment in time and feeling this way. Soak it all up.
And keep your phone in your bag.
Have you struggled with the incessant need to update and check social media? You aren’t alone…Leave a comment below to share your experience!