More and more millennials are traveling nowadays but turned to social media to get attention. In this era of smartphone, people become obsessed with getting likes and comments for every travel photo and “traveling to…” status update. Millennial travel-hype is an unhealthy obsession pressuring us to travel. It doesn’t make you cool if you embark on an adventure for the sake of posting about it online. Don’t get me wrong, I am guilty too of going somewhere just so I could get a cute picture of it for my Instagram. I stalk favorite people in Snapchat. I log in to Facebook while traveling. Nevertheless, I do all of these because I want to and not to brag or impress other people.
As a 90’s kid, let me take you back to when #travelgoals wasn’t popular. People travel to get lost. The journey usually ends up discovering the unfamiliar places. There was no pressure about #ootd (outfit-of-the-day). Before then, jumping off the cliff makes you feel high without filming it. Ten years ago, travelers used to capture nature’s beauty and behold its picturesque creation. Today, taking #selfie is getting more prevalent which for me doesn’t create good memories.
Trust me, without being able to check at your Instagram, Twitter or Facebook feed you’ll be more relax and vacation is well spent. Although it is, still up to you whether or not this is good.
Here are the seven reasons why you don’t need social media to travel:
- Consider vacation a Digital Detox.
Take a break from using digital devices. I know we couldn’t have six-month vacation twice a year. So make the most of your limited leave balance whether it is a long weekend or a month-long trip. Pampering yourself is what you deserved for working so hard. Do not waste your time on social media. Rejuvenate yourself mentally and physically. Take a Yoga retreat in Chiang Mai, Thailand or learn Muay Thai. Go for a hike. That way, you become the best version of you when you get back to work. Surprise your boss!
- You can’t be stalked by anyone.
(Turn off your location.) Yes, we all need “Me Time”. Getting away from social media is all about feeling free. Traveling alone and meeting new people gives you the opportunity to discover yourself. I went backpacking in Europe alone. When I reached Paris, its charm was overwhelming. I spent a day at a park, placing myself in front of the Eiffel Tower and enjoying my three-euro wine and a snack. It was one of the happiest days of my life. Of course, don’t forget to tell your family and best friends where you at. Call them instead of allowing them to find out via the same photos you send to the whole world.
- Do not brag your vacation photos to your friends.
Your friends couldn’t wait to hear your stories and not your scripted photos. Believe me, they are more likely to enjoy talking about how your experience was seeing the magical sunrise in Ankor Wat, Siem Reap. Stop over-posting your vacation photos or you’ll be missing out on something extraordinary. Nevertheless, it’s great pleasure to see magnificent architectures in Barcelona if you are not busy filming or taking pictures.
- Be “Social”, set aside “Media”.
Are you glued on your smartphone scrolling through friend’s posts? Trying to capture the same spot where your friends been to? When you’re on vacation, “social” and “media” must be separated. Media caused us to be conscious about what people think of us. Remember, you are responsible in everything you posted online. People might like it but some will bash you. Who cares? So, focus on social interaction. Social happens when you meet amazing travelers along the way and share stories. The best things in life happen off-screen.
- Social Media recommendations are bias
Admit it; friends’ shared photos have inspired us to travel. The rise of Instagram-worthy travel photos made us packed our bags and hopped on an adventure. But we arrived in our destination all excited only to realize that the place was not as beautiful as it was in the picture. It’s very disappointing how our expectations weren’t met. We rely so much on social media platforms to find out where to go, when to go, and what to do, see and eat when we get there. It turns out it was just a marketing strategy. Perhaps, the best way to find out authentic experiences is to take it from the person who actually experienced it.
- Immerse yourself in the experience.
Seriously, if you are suffering from a disease called SMA (Social Media Addiction) time to treat it. Disconnect even just a few hours and immerse yourself in the experience. I remember when I was crossing the border between Cambodia and Vietnam. I met few backpackers and they were all using printed maps and guidebooks. You can never find google map and definitely no smartphone in them. It was a challenging experience asking locals for the directions.
We struggle with insecurity. Scrolling through our newsfeed often results from comparing our life against others. You found your not-so-achiever old friend posted pictures of recent grandiose European trip. Although you like how far she’s gone, somehow it caused you to question your accomplishment. That triggers your unpleasant feeling. For most of us, Facebook is our way to show the best version of ourselves but not our real version. Reality is what lost on social media. So, avoid looking at profiles of people who triggers your thoughts of comparison. You have nothing to get but anxiety.