Most of us scroll through our social media feeds and see pictures of everyone else’s adventures. It looks like they’re having such a great time while we’re all sitting at home on our phones. This seems one way on the surface – like people are having a better time than we are. But there’s another way to examine this situation.
If they’re editing and uploading photos, they’re on their phones in an exotic location. They’re doing the same thing we are, just in a different climate. It’s a shame they don’t understand why taking a social media detox will make their vacation ten times better.
1. Be Present
You’re in a new environment. Your surroundings are unfamiliar to you. Even the plants and animals are unlike the ones you’re used to seeing from your front porch. You’re going to miss a lot if your nose is buried in your phone, checking all those likes, thumbs, and hearts pouring in as you upload new photos. The average social media user spends about two hours a day scrolling – that’s long enough to watch a sunset or kayak a whole river.
Technology puts you back in a familiar place. Everything you see in your social media feed is still going to be there when you get back – all you need to do is scroll down further. The things that are happening in front of you right now are only going to be there right now. If you aren’t living in the present while you’re away, you’re missing the entire point of your trip.
2. Spend Time with Your Companions
Solo travel can be incredibly fulfilling, but not many people take their trips alone. If you’re traveling with companions, you’ve created the perfect bonding opportunity. You’ll be functioning as a team or a family unit, making decisions and sharing new experiences together. Commenting and messaging each other on social media is a great way to connect under some circumstances, but not when you’re in the same room. Focus on making real memories rather than digital memories – the opportunities to do so are few and far between.
3. You’ll Have Something to Talk About
If you aren’t a documentarian, you probably know one. People often post every little detail about their day on social media. You know where they went, what they did, what they ate, and you even have photos of them doing it. What do you talk about when you run into them in real life? Probably not a lot – there are no mysteries. There’s nothing to catch up on.
Avoid documenting your trip on social media. You’ll be able to tell your friends and family about it when you see them in person. You can create a productive two-way discussion about your travels, and you might even get to hear some tales about their last expedition. Conversation is a powerful bonding tool that can bring everyone closer together.
4. You’ll Have More Energy
Traveling requires a lot of energy. You’re constantly on the move, and you have a lot of things you’d like to do. It’s almost impossible to get it all done if you’re in a state of perpetual exhaustion. Many people don’t realize that their social media habit is making it hard for them to get a decent night’s sleep.
The obvious explanation is that many people get sucked into scrolling and scrolling when they’re lying in bed, wasting time that could have better been spent sleeping. The less obvious explanation is the effect the blue light has on the brain. The kind of light emitted by most electronics can interfere with melatonin production, making it hard for your brain and your body to sleep peacefully. Ditch your phone and get some shut-eye.
5. Your Budget Will Go Further
If you’ve traveled far away from home, your phone is going to work a bit differently. Data will almost always be more expensive. Many hotels charge for WiFi connectivity. Whether you’re using your data or relying on the WiFi, you’re still spending money. Many people are shocked when they return home to find a phone bill that looks a lot more like the rent. Spend your money eating authentic local food and buying souvenirs handmade by local craftspeople – don’t hand it all over to your phone service provider.
It might seem impossible to keep from checking your notifications while you’re traveling, but you’ll be thankful that you did. You can still take pictures and videos to put in the scrapbook, and you’ll have plenty of time to catch up on what you missed when you return home.