will you let social media ruin your travels?

Travel is opening up again, and we are all shouting for joy. We have been cooped up for so long, and it is now time to get out there and take a few trips for pleasure and perhaps for business.

But where to go? What to see and do?

We all have our favorite spots, but perhaps it's time to go somewhere new.

Here's a thought. Since we have been "homebound" for so long, we have spent much more time on social media. Our friend lists have grown, and we are now checking our pages several times a day at least. How about not letting social media ruin our trip?

How can this happen? Here are three ways:

Being Mislead by Our Social Media Communities

Social media users love to post about the "successes" in their lives – getting a huge bargain on something, a party they had or attended, and, yes, a recent trip. And they have pictures.

What we all must realize is that people do not always tell the truth on social media. They exaggerate, and they don't like to admit mistakes. So, when you read about an amazing trip, proceed with caution. Do your own research about possible destinations and make certain they are places you will truly enjoy.

Spending More Time Posting Your Experience than Enjoying It

We have become so "attached" to our social media accounts that we feel the need to post about everything going on – a new trick our dog has learned, a meal we prepared, a concert we attended, a new piece of clothing, and so much more.

The temptation to do this during a trip is real. If we find ourselves posting selfies all day and night, every sight we have visited, and even our meals, we are not just immersing ourselves in these new experiences. Perhaps it's time to put down the phone and just enjoy.

Business travelers are probably less guilty than those who travel for pleasure. An international retailer, for example, has to make up for a lost time during COVID-19, re-establishing relationships with existing clients and getting new ones. He has to be certain that he has chosen among the best certified translation services online to update his travel documents to streamline his entry into every country on his itinerary; he will be spending much of his days in meetings or attending conventions and conferences. He may only access his social media accounts after his day is over.

Be more like the business traveler.

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

We may have become so attached to our social media accounts that we cannot pry ourselves away from knowing what all of our "friends" are doing and saying, even while we are supposed to be enjoying a long-awaited trip. We sit down in a beautiful restaurant, order our meal, and then immediately get on our phones to check out all recent posts so that we can like, share, and comment. We miss the ambiance of the place and the experience of "people watching" and "soaking up" this new cultural environment. What a shame.

That business retailer? He has an agenda; he has researched the latest 10 travel tips for international retailers; most of his time is spent conducting business. We pleasure travelers don't have such tight schedules. We have the time to immerse ourselves in our new environment, to seek new adventures, to get "off the beaten path." Keeping that phone in our pockets should be a top priority. We can catch up when we get home.

Are You Guilty?

You are finally free to "roam." Will you reclaim your power to ignore social media, or will you remain a "victim" of your obsession with it? Your choice.