Social Media - changing our holiday experience?
We've all been there: you're relaxing, trying to enjoy a romantic meal with your partner as you look out over the Aegean Sea, and she's too busy checking in on Facebook or snapping a picture of you for Instagram to fully appreciate the moment.
Yes, this is the reality of social media - it's changed the way we experience holidays and not necessarily for the better.
Gone are the days when the only contact you would have with loved ones back home was a hastily written postcard saying 'wish you were here.' Nowadays, with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram providing us with the ability to be connected 24/7, we can share holiday snaps and even catch up with friends and family no matter where we are on the planet.
Holiday break – switch it off
It's important to remember that holidays are supposed to be a break. Sometimes, it's a good idea to turn off your Facebook notifications and give your Twitter account a rest for a few days as you fully immerse yourself in your holiday experience. If you're on holiday without your partner, give them a chance to miss you. Don't bombard friends and family with dozens of holiday snaps - save them until you get home and have a night in with a photo slide-show where you can connect face to face and share all your favourite holiday moments.
When you're spending all your time on social media, you're not properly 'in the moment'. It's important to step back from technology sometimes and really make the most of your holiday. So turn off your smartphone or Wi-Fi connected camera and get back to basics; send postcards to those you love. A postcard lasts far longer than a quick snapshot on social media, and it's a really special way to tell someone you're thinking of them.
Of course, social media is also responsible for that feeling we all get from time to time; holiday envy. When you're sat working at your desk and see pictures of your friend's honeymoon in Goa, it's normal to feel a pang of jealousy. Ask yourself this: if they were really having such a romantic, amazing time, would they have the time to spend hours on Facebook and Instagram uploading their photos and updating their status?
So switch off your smartphone, turn off your Wi-Fi and leave your tablet at the hotel - get out there and enjoy your holiday without the constant connection to social media; you'll be glad you did.