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Pics Or It Didn’t Happen: How To Stop Using Social Media To Validate Your Holiday, But To Improve It

Raise your hand if you spend a lot of your time on a holiday with your phone in hand, making sure every photo is Instagram-quality? *Hand shoots straight up*. It seems that you and I aren’t the only ones. A #LikeToTravel report from our friends at Expedia shows that just under half of us Aussies spend an average TEN MINUTES taking the perfect pic for social media. Crazy, right? Especially when we’re on holiday, and there’s so much to experience.

So the real question is, why exactly are we doing this? Why do so many of us dedicate copious amounts of time tirelessly making our holidays look as perfect as possible to our followers? The report finds a couple of reasons.

38% of respondents said they are posting the perfect content to make others jealous. Meanwhile, 60% also admit to feeling as though their holidays never even happened unless they posted it to social media. An outstanding 90% make sure to keep up with their socials, even when going relatively off the grid.

So, clearly, we’re going out of our way to keep our followers updated. It’s not without its cost, though. The report reckons that 26% of travellers feel social media detracts from their holiday. So with that in mind, it’s about time we start thinking of ways to avoid missing out on living in the moment.

Limit Your Phone Use

Some of our favourite ways to spend time on a holiday is lounging by the pool or soaking up some rays at the beach. Naturally, our minds tend to wander when they aren’t stimulated, and our instinct is to grab our phone. Taking a few photos of the stunning landscape or of our hot dogs (legs) to look back on, or even post, is perfectly normal.

But that should be the extent of it. Kick the habit of reaching for your phone every time there’s a lull in your energy or attentiveness. Going for a swim, taking a walk or conversing with friends (or someone new even..) are productive alternative outlets for channelling your energy. Anything that doesn’t involve a phone. There’s always time for editing and posting later when you’re prepping for bed.

Turn off Notifications

We all know the pitfalls of social media: narcissism, jealousy, and a fuelled envy of others’ ‘perfect’ lives. Indeed, Expedia’s report suggests that 50% of us feel jealous at the sight of others photos. The main purpose of a holiday is to escape life, and that includes our social media habits. Master self-love by taking a break and recharging.

By turning off your notifications, you gain control of your phone, instead of the other way around. You look at it when you want to, rather than instantly grabbing it every time it vibrates. This way, you’ll get a clear head, free from wondering how many people have liked your photo, or scrolling through someone’s profile who appears to be having a better time than you.

Keep Yourself Busy

Our holiday locations are often chosen for the purposes of sightseeing: experiencing new cultures and scoping out famous architecture. Arguably, the best way to pack all of this into the time frame of our trip is by joining a guided tour, where experts help you access the best of what the destination has to offer. It’s also good at getting you to take quick snapshots before you’re on our way.

There’s less time to check angles, lighting, quality, or anything that makes the pic perfectly ‘Instagrammable’. If you spend a large majority of your holiday engaging in activities, not only are you making the most of your experience, but social media is guaranteed to be the last thing on your mind. Win/win!

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