Benefits of Taking a Break from Social Media when Traveling
The majority of people born pre 1990’s grew up being a teenager & young adult knowing that empty, naked feeling when not having a cell phone on them; the panic and anxiety of feeling helpless without the knowledge of our smart phones. Or was that just me?
With this day and age, it is nearly impossible to own a phone that doesn’t have internet and endless apps that are available for download. Which is one of the reasons social media is so accessible and is so widely used. I use my social media on the daily, using it mindlessly. Bored? No problem. Let me just whip that phone out of my pocket and start scrolling to see what the latest is. That girl I’m jealous of? No problem. Let’s go look at her wall and see how she’s out-doing me. Eager to show off those new shoes? *waits two seconds* they’re now downloaded on my Instagram, let’s see how many likes I get.
Ok, so the point is understood – we use social media for everything (or I am just your typical girl)! We are so caught up in who is doing what, other people’s opinions, the social drama, and everything else that is so pleasurably absorbed in today’s society. My longest social media withdraw was when I first flew to Australia. A long, lonely 28 hour flight. I had no idea that my phone would not work. Yes call me an idiot, but I had never been on an airplane before.
That was an extremely long flight of self-entertainment and detailed “people watching” (maybe hot dad watching, maybe not). I did not enjoy the beauty of it until that moment came that I got off the plane and had to figure things out myself, without relying on my smart phone and the internet to give me all the answers. Talking to new people to ask directions, interacting to figure out what the best means of transportation was, exceeding language barriers with other travelers who did not know any English – it was the exact experience that I unknowingly wanted.
There is bliss and clarity in the silence that is experienced in our heads when we get to the point that we aren’t thinking about all of those “extra things”. Social media creates a lot of those “things” running around in our heads. I learned that in my time not having access to my social media and phone, that I was only worrying about the present time and the current moment. Let me tell you, ever since I have gotten back to real life from travelling, I do stop and turn my phone off once in a while and it feels like a lifted weight.
By Whitney Guthrie