Ditch the Wifi and set yourself free from social media

Monday, September 19, 2016

Unfortunately this blog post will make me sound like a bit of a hypocrite because as a travel blogger remaining socially available is a huge part of travelling. However, when I do get a chance to get completely off the grid it is a refreshing break and something I highly recommend everyone does when they travel.

In a modern world where Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are a huge part of our life we can often forget to actually live and experience the things which we are photographing and spamming our friends with. As much as I love to see others travel pics, it does make me wonder how long they took trying to get the perfect selfie and whether they still had time to make the most of their experience. I myself have spent a good 15 minutes changing angles and positions until I have a profile picture worthy shot only to come home regretting not just taking in the scenery around me. I have also travelled with that one annoying person who makes you take 5,000 pictures until they are finally happy, wasting both our time and often ruining the moment.

On my trip to Thailand we paid a photographer to take our pictures for us!
What I want you to try on your next trip is taking photos for yourself and avoid constant Facebook updates or Snapchat pics. Don't spend ages getting the best shot, spend that time exploring and socialising with the people around you. Put yourself in the here and now; not only does it ensure you will experience as much as you can but it is also hugely important for your mental health and personal wellbeing. So many of us focus too much on what we are going to show our friends and not enough on what we want to see ourselves. I myself love to make photo albums and put up pics from my travels all over my house. These pictures mean something to me and are usually just a pic of me and my new travel friends - something I can treasure without the need to show the rest of the world.

So if you're keen to take a break from social media and detox your system from the virtual world, here's a few tips for your next trip :)

1. Put your phone on flight mode and leave it that way

Simple right? This is honestly the most effective way to stop you from unnecessarily checking your social media accounts and forcing you to be in the present moment. By sticking your phone on flight mode you can still take photos but hopefully won't be tempted to only take pictures to show off to your friends, and more just for you to remember the experience. It also helps you to be more social as you haven't got the ability to talk to people back home and will hopefully make some travel buddies to take their place while you're away.

At the end of the day when you return home, and only if you really need it, take your phone off flight mode and do the social media thing, but remember this trip is for you not everyone else.

2. Avoid WiFi enabled accommodation

Sadly I have seen this happen to often, when people I'm travelling with or have met on the road decide to stay at their accommodation to take advantage of the WiFi. They would rather miss out on a day of adventure and post up pictures or Skype their friends (for the umpteenth time). If you stay at a place with no WiFi it does make it more difficult to pull yourself away from the social media world, let along probably costing you more than you would staying at a place without it. Yes, the hostel says "free" WiFi, but I guarantee you it's part of your accommodation cost and is not totally free.

Staying at a place without WiFi often leads to more socialising as well, with guests making the most of the common areas to chat and meet up. You will also be able to hunt down free WiFi if you need if from surrounding cafes and shops, meaning you'll actually be getting out and about if you must use the net.

3. Buy a sim card with limited data

This is a great way to restrict yourself on your social media usage by purchasing a sim card with limited data so you can only be online for a short period of time each day. This is probably the best bet for someone who wants to check in with people back home who are keen to make sure they are safe and well. I also think this is a good idea if you plan to travel in less safe locations as you do have the ability to contact someone if something goes wrong.

Selfies are acceptable... when you're with a kangaroo!!!!
4. Keep a diary and write postcards

If you're desperate to keep the world up to date with your day to day happenings, write postcards! Yep, they still exist and yes, people love to receive them! Not only does receiving a postcard make you feel special and remembered, it also shows that you have taken the time to think about the person you are sending it to and shows real friendship. Anyone can post a status update or send a DM, but going to the effort of postcards really makes people feel good.

If you feel the need to write about everything you are doing at any time, put it into a diary. Personally, even as a blogger, I prefer to write my stories down in a diary to capture the emotions and feelings that go along with the experience. I can be far more honest in my diary as I know it's for me, and if I decide to publish my diary as a blog post I can edit as needed whilst maintaining it's authenticity.

5. Lastly... just let go!

This last tip isn't a tip, it's a reminder that you are on holiday, you are adventuring the world and you need to make the most of each day as it comes! You don't need social media to have fun, you need to ground yourself in the present and live!

Have any other tips for a social media detox? Feel free to post them in the comments below!

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