Pros and Cons of Using Social Media on Vacation
Most of us know the feeling. You’re on vacation, exploring new places, or just lying on the beach and relaxing when you suddenly remember that you haven’t updated your Instagram in a while. You browse photos, choose one of them, apply and edit filters, write a description, choose hashtags, upload, and compulsively look at how many people have liked your new post.
After a while, you realize that you’ve been staring at your phone for way too long and that you’re missing out on the very thing you came on vacation to do – enjoy yourself.
While social media can be a great way to share your experiences with friends and family, it’s important not to get too caught up in it and overuse it. What are the lights and shadows of using social media on vacation?
Lights of using social media on vacation
There are definitely some advantages to using social media on vacation.
Social media can help you discover amazing places
If you’re planning a trip, chances are you’ll do some research on social media beforehand. Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are great for finding out about new places to visit, whether it’s a hidden gem, a restaurant, or a must-see tourist attraction. In fact, even 48% of people choose their vacation spots based on what they see on Instagram, with 35% discovering new locations to visit.
You can document and share your experiences
Another great thing about social media is that it allows you to document and share your experiences with friends and family – even if they can’t be there with you in person. This is especially useful for longer trips when you might not have the opportunity to keep in touch as much as you’d like. With social media, you can easily post photos and updates so that your loved ones can follow along and feel like they’re right there with you.
It’s easy to meet locals and like-minded travelers
Social media can be a great way to connect with other travelers and locals. For example, you can use Instagram to find people in your destination who share your interests and then reach out to them to see if they want to meet up. You can also join Facebook groups for travelers in your area, which can be an excellent resource for finding out about things to do and places to eat.
Shadows of using social media on vacation
There are also some disadvantages to consider before indulging in too much social media on vacation.
Social media consume your time
One of the biggest dangers of overusing social media on vacation is that it can consume a lot of your time. If you’re constantly checking your phone, you’re not going to be able to enjoy the experience fully. Let’s lean on hard data.
According to a Passport Photo Online study, most traveling Americans (55%) spend between 30 – 120 minutes scrolling on Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks during their vacation stay. But almost one in three Americans (31%) uses social media for more than 2 hours a day during the holidays—every day. On a weekly basis, it is at least 14 hours!
Simultaneously, 58% of respondents feel frequent social media use negatively affected their most recent holiday.
It’s important to remember that vacations are supposed to be a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, so make sure you take some time for yourself and disconnect from your devices.
You might miss out on the experience
Another downside of social media is that it can actually make you miss out on the experience. Instead of enjoying the moment, you might find yourself more focused on getting the perfect photo or video. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to document your trip, but make sure you’re also taking the time just to experience everything without your phone in hand.
You can lose what’s beautiful about traveling
Pretty mysterious, right? What I love about traveling is going outside the box, the comfort zone, and sometimes just letting it flow. Without planning, research, checking hashtags, and all that stuff. I am not saying that you should not do any of those, but sometimes it is good just to wander around and see what you’ll find.
What I learned from traveling to more than 40 countries is that the most exciting, memorable experiences and adventures are unexpected. I would not have gone to some of the most amazing places I’ve been to if I had planned every single detail of my trip and scrolled social media.
If you’re constantly looking at your phone or taking photos, you might miss out on some of the best parts of traveling. Instead of being in the moment, you might find yourself more focused on getting the perfect photo or video. So my advice is to put your phone down and just enjoy the experience.
To sum up
Social media can be a great way to stay connected with friends and family, meet new people, and document your travels. But it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers of overusing social media on vacation. Make sure you take some time for yourself and disconnect from your devices. And most importantly, don’t let social media ruin your trip! It’s your time to relax, explore, and charge batteries. Use it wisely.