Is it even a holiday if you haven’t posted it on social media yet?
How many reactions do you average per post? Many of us are spending more and more of our time using technology, especially on our travels, but how long do you think you could last without it? Social media seems to be at the centre of all our lives, but do we use it more or less whilst on vacation?
Need or Want
The other day a friend posted a status on Facebook about how amazing it had been to have a family weekend away without mobile phones. The hardest part for her? No photos on social media. The irony of where she was sharing this illuminating insight wasn’t lost on me - but I gave her the benefit of the doubt and mentally labelled her status as a bid to raise awareness.
Having not grown up in a world with social media, I am regularly grateful that I have been saved from this embarrassment. However, a lot of my age group still feel the need to update us all on every aspect of their lives via their ‘stories’ on various social networks. I do use social media, and I definitely post more updates whilst travelling, but why?
Excuse or Reason
There seem to be two main streams of thought to the reasons why people post so regularly on these websites. Firstly, they want to keep friends and family updated on our lives. My family live all over the globe, my close family have all emigrated outside the UK, including myself, and it is an easy (and lazy) way to let them know I am happy and healthy without going to the effort of actually communicating with them.
The other, the more popular thought process is that those people flooding our news feeds with almost identical selfies along with essays of captions, might be doing it for attention or an ego boost. We have all read an article where an Instagram model has taken a life-threatening risk for that ‘perfect shot’ and with social-media role models like that, is it really surprising that some people are attempting to replicate their posts?
Professional or Amateur
Taking the ideal photo is actually a lot of work. The angles, the lighting and the background all need to be taken into account before we even start looking at the person who is supposed to be our model. While on holiday recently I watched a mother take photos of her daughter jumping on the beach for at least half an hour during a sunset. And with 83m #holiday hashtags on Instagram, the competition is fierce for that flawless snap.
While on this same holiday I also noticed a generation gap. That less au fait with technology were smiling both at humans and scenery, whilst their younger counterparts were smiling at screens, eyes breaking away briefly to discuss the best captions or filters.
Memories or Distraction
Whilst social media is undoubtedly a fantastic way to keep in contact with those not always physically close to us, it is important to remember that our world is real life and not with us forever. The person sitting in front of you is here now, but the people you connect with via technology will often be available via the same means. The experiences you have whilst on holiday won’t always be there and do you really want the best memories of your getaway to be overshadowed by the length of time and possibly number of arguments it took to get the ideal photo?
Memories are important, and photos are always fantastic to look back on. But it is also important to be at the moment. Holidays are not only an opportunity to impress your friends but a time to reflect, relax, learn, explore and most importantly fall in love. With places, people and yourself.