Social media has become such a huge part of the newer generations in society that it’s hard to believe that it only started to become relied on so much in the last ten years or so. I grew up as a late 90’s kid, so when I was around the age to get a phone (strictly used to contact my family and maybe a few friends), iPhones were in their first few years of being invented. They didn’t come out until 2007 and every social media platform most used today, except Facebook, came out even later than that. Ever since then, social media has blown up and integrated itself further into everybody’s life each year.
Now, most kids growing up have never know a world without technology, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and dating sites. Half of the world is all about doctored images or communicating what you’re doing in life to many people with one post instead of talking about it in person. Going unplugged for days at a time has absolutely changed my life. Here is what vacationing has shown me about thriving without social media.
1. It promotes better self-image and positive vibes
This is no joke. The biggest issue I’ve learned that comes from social media platforms is that it presents numerous opportunities to judge yourself based on what other people post and what they look like in those pictures. There are so many applications out there that help you add filters, photoshop, and alter your photos to look exactly what you view as “hot”, “sexy”, “beautiful” or “aesthetic” when the actual photo just doesn’t do it for you.
I believe this behavior stems from celebrities becoming idolized because they do the same thing, sometimes also altering their body physically to meet the perfect status of beauty. From what I’ve found through my own experience and through others, is that this creates a negative habit of forming bad self image issues of yourself by wishing you looked different or trash talking your own body. Without this online magnet we can never seem to detach from, there are less opportunities to judge yourself.
Sure, you still see others in person and admire their beauty– but you see them in a real life situation which may seem less intimidating. You can find beauty in both the other woman (or man) while also finding it in yourself. When I went on a week long vacation, I totally unplugged from social media, and I’ve got to tell you from my own personal experience…. I have never felt happier and more confident about my body, personality, and self-image than in those ten days.
2. You don’t really keep track of time
This is something I didn’t notice until a couple of days into the trip. When you’re away from work and school and responsibilities, you don’t need to check the time. This can be applied to any type of vacation. Specifically out in nature, my friends and I were camping at night so we adjusted (unknowingly) to waking up when the sun rose and going to sleep when the sun set.
We would then spend our days traveling to different spots, seeing the beauty of whatever state we were in at the time, and relishing in the time we were granted to not focus on every responsibility we had back home. This decreased stress of worrying about time: wasting time, killing time, not having enough time, spending too much time on one thing, etc.. This is the magic of vacationing that sometimes passes people by. It is a truly special thing to experience.
3. You appreciate and enjoy your surroundings more
Have you ever thought about how much time you spend looking at screens per day? Have you ever thought about how much you miss around you because of it? My memory increases significantly when I don’t have my phone around me. I observe more people, places, and become better at guiding myself from one location to another without external help (this is saying a lot for anyone who knows how awful my internal compass is).
I observe so much that I can remark about what looks different in ordinary, everyday elements that surround me and can observe more about people just by looking at them and knowing how they act. It is incredibly eye opening to be able to feel this and realize how much gets missed when I log onto social media.
4. You get so much more accomplished
Days have always felt too short to me. I always have had too much to do in a day and not enough time to do it. It wasn’t until taking vacations, where I didn’t have to meet deadlines or track the time or stress about every aspect of life, that I realized there is so much more time in the day than we know. While I stay on top of my work, I do spend large portions of the day on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, texting my friends, and looking up a random compilation of questions on google. Also watching Netflix.
It adds up fast, and I think when we are doing the tasks that we need to get done throughout the week we don’t factor in how much time that is actually spent on social media and technology. As a result, I, as well as many others I know, feel like there is never enough time in the day. This may come across as bashing on technology and social media, but it is merely what I have learned taking a step back from it.
Nothing will teach you time management skills like going on a vacation and unplugging yourself to realize how much time you’ll get back by cutting down on social media. After taking a vacation, I feel like a better me. With a more positive outlook, better self-images of myself, how to observe more, and how to not let time pass me by so quickly, I can enjoy the good moments of life and celebrate them with people I love.