Unplugging from Social Media on the Road

by Susan Finch

Aug 20, 2019

Social Media © Marcel De Grijs |

Tips / Travel


How much time do you spend on social media, and do you really unplug when you’re on vacation? Surveys show people spend an average of two hours and 22 minutes per day on social networking and messaging platforms. And that figure doesn’t account for additional screen time on email, videos and working while on vacation. Instead of letting precious travel time slip by, commit to unplug from social media on your next vacation, and savor the moment. Here are some ideas to get a handle on your social media consumption and still have a pleasant trip without white knuckling it through screen time withdraw.


Prioritize Your Posts
If you absolutely must post during your much-deserved travel time, figure out how to prioritize your content to minimize the time spent on social media. It’s reasonable to post a photo of you and your loved ones at the airport or on the plane, and maybe a shot of your new digs. After that, just unplug until it’s time to leave again. Your friends and followers will live without a play-by-play update of your travels. You can also plan to post a batch of photos and videos when you’re on the plane coming home.


Focus on Something More Productive
There are so many other things you could be doing than mindlessly scrolling through social media. Whenever you feel the urge to post, decide to go on a walk on the beach, go for a swim, reach for a book or pick up your sketch pad. Exploring the world around you and getting a fresh perspective is part of the thrill of travel. Hiding behind your social media channels is just a distraction that sucks the enjoyment out of your trip.


Retrain Your Mind
It’s tempting to feel like posting on your favorite social media channels is a way to share your experience in real time. In reality, reaching for your smartphone takes you out of the moment and turns the experience into something totally different. Instead of savoring that sunset and feeling the moment, you’re focused on digitizing it and capturing it. What if experiences and moments were something we just enjoyed and let go of once in a while? Leave your smartphone at your hotel or Airbnb and see how it feels to just experience travel in real time with no digital distractions for the day.


Disable Your Feeds
Some people are already pretty good at minimizing their social media time. But instead of logging on to share a video of that pod of dolphins that swam by, they’re bombarded by an endless stream of social media updates from followers. Minimize the distraction and explore your Facebook settings to disable your news feeds, unfollow everyone without unfriending them and watch as the distractions subside.


Delete Your Apps
Let’s forget about willpower while you’re on vacation. Eliminate the temptation of social media by deleting all of your social media apps from your smartphone. It might take a few hours or days to adjust, but ditching your apps will make it difficult to post anything or lose hours devouring Instagram photos and Facebook posts. You can always reinstall your favorite apps when you return and can fill up your channels with all of your best travel photos. But hopefully, you’ll realize you can live without them and settle on the joy of social media silence instead.




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