It feels like social media is taking over the world. The first thing most of us do when we wake up is check our phones (I’m guilty of that myself on most days!) I think we’ve all become a bit obsessed with our phones…people waiting in line overnight for the latest iPhone…is that really necessary? But during my recent vacation is when I realized how connected everyone really is. We were visiting Venice and the Greek Islands (more of that to come soon), and I was amazed at the number of people who were on their phones…EVERYWHERE WE WENT!
We ‘d be having dinner and would hear people asking the waiters to take photos of them and then asking if the restaurant had Wi-Fi, so that they could immediately post the photos on Facebook and Instagram. Then you would hear others complaining that their battery had run out. I also witnessed business owners requesting customers to post positive reviews on Tripadvisor and to like their Facebook pages.
Something else that I was surprised at was the amount of people who have substituted their phones for their cameras. Places like Venice and Santorini are a photographer’s dream. I couldn’t imagine just relying on my camera’s phone for pictures. But of course, by using your phone, you can immediately post them on social media, and show everyone what a wonderful time you’re having. I have been traveling for years and I remember the days when everyone carried all types of cameras (I still travel with two, just in case). I rarely see people with cameras anymore.
Maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned, but I feel that being on your phone all day when you’re on vacation is ridiculous. Shame on the adults that were acting this way, as our kids take a lot of their cues from us. We told our daughter that she was visiting these gorgeous places to learn and enjoy and spend quality family time. She brought her phone on the trip, but she didn’t use it during the day. And I did post a few photos to my Facebook account, but usually at the end of the day, as we only relied on the hotel’s Wi-Fi in the evenings.
I know the internet is wonderful for many things, as is social media, especially when promoting awareness of serious issues, or even just keeping up with friends. But could we please teach our kids to limit some of this phone time? Technology is the worst time sucker and distractor from the joys of real life. Encourage them to play outside, read a book or engage in a family board game. Kids today are constantly on their phones and they take them everywhere. I know it’s not easy, as a parent of a teenager myself, I know it’s difficult to get them interested in other things. And everyday there are more sites to subscribe to…Vine, Snapchat, Ask.FM, WhatsApp, etc. For those of you with young tweens and teens, I encourage you to randomly check your children’s accounts. We all know how bad peer pressure can be, especially with Instagram, and the battle they face with how many people “like” their photo.
I do enjoy social media (how else would I pen my blog?) Facebook has given me an oppurtunity to reconnect with childhood friends, that truthfully, I would have probably never heard from again. But I do think there are limits, and I just sometimes wonder if we as a society, have forgotten what those limits are. (Click here to watch a great clip of what I’m referring to).
How do you feel about social media? How long would you last without your cell phone?