Your Electronic Device and Social Media
Social media: you either love it to the point of being addicted to your devices or deplore what it has done to face-to-face socializing. Either way, it is having a huge impact on our daily lives, and on our special moments. With the advent of the amazing photographic abilities of the modern cell phone, social media has expanded its horizons to our vacations.
Even with limited knowledge of your phone’s features you can take great pictures ; watching a few how-to videos expands your capabilities tremendously. Some professional travel photographers use their cell phones, not expensive cameras and lenses! Cell phones (and tablets) are easy to carry and provide a direct connection to your social presence on line as well. Cue the selfie stick and you are ready for your next adventure, and to document every step of the way for yourself and share with your friends. Sounds wonderful doesn’t it?
Remember Why You Travel
Some photos are worth sharing! ( Pascal Van De Vendel on Unsplash)
But wait. It is wise to remember that too much of a good thing does not make it a good thing. One must remember the reason you are traveling. For many travelers it is the exploration of a new destination, meeting new people, embracing new cultures, and expanding horizons whether it be intellectually, physically, or both. It is important to document one’s journey because memories do fade: take a photo of a new exotic food you just tasted in the street market, the view from the mountain you just climbed, or that kiss with your partner at the Trevi Fountain in Rome. But such documentation – and sharing on social media – should not become the primary outcome of your trip. One may not set out with that intention, but it can become a slippery slope. Do not return home having viewed the world only through the lens of your cell phone.
Life is short even if you live to be ninety plus. It’s meant to be lived and enjoyed – and that applies double to your “me” time – whether it is skiing in the French Alps or sunning on a Caribbean beach. By all means take a selfie or two to share with those friends back home to keep them abreast of the fantastic time you are having, but don’t make your vacation a marathon of photo opportunities for that purpose alone. Not only will you miss the true adventure of travel but you will be sure to be accused – albeit silently by your friends – of travel bragging. Not only that, in the pursuit of that amazing photo, you could set yourself or travel partner up for severe injury or a brush with the local law or customs. We’ve all read those unfortunate stories on the news where selfies have gone awry when all common sense was forgotten.
Unless you are a travel professional like me, in which case you share your travel photos – lots of them – on social so others can see what a destination or travel mode has to offer, please “stop and smell the roses” when you holiday. Embrace the full experience of the moment and take only photos that will be meaningful for you in future to remind you of that wonderful time you had. Your friends – and your future self – will thank you for it.