On Vacations and Social Media

Vacation CountdownMy family is blessed, and starting next Friday, we’ll be taking a trip to Florida. This is our second family vacation, which makes it less unique than last year (our first ever family vacation), but no less exciting. It’s forced me to think quite a bit about vacation and social media, however.

I imagine that we’ll be taking lots of photos, and sharing them via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever other social media outlet is currently the rage. What bothers me a bit is that “vacation” isn’t something everyone gets to do. My eldest daughter will be 18 next month, and for the first 17 years of her life, she never got to take a family vacation. Most of that lifetime existed outside of social media. How would she have felt to see others enjoying Disney, Universal, palm trees and beaches year after year while her Spring Breaks meant merely sleeping in a little bit and then doing spring cleaning around the house?

Yes, I know it’s a first world problem. But I’m curious what everyone thinks about sharing vacation excitement on social media, understanding how it might make friends and family who can’t afford (or don’t have time) to go. I realized today that my Facebook avatar (is it even called an avatar anymore? Profile pic maybe?) is me under a palm tree last year during vacation. Has thatย been a year-long brag?

Anyway, it’s something I’m battling. Should we try to keep the vacation posts to a minimum? Does that make it seem like we’re ashamed of our vacation? (we’re not) Do palm tree and Mickey Mouse photos upset those folks stuck home on Spring Break cleaning frozen dog poop out of their lawns? I don’t have an answer. Just thinking out loud.

8 Comments

  1. John Kerr says:

    Yes, keep vacation posts to a minimum, especially those of us who earn a living in IT. Get away from it all, enjoy a week away from technology as much as you can. Send messages to family only.

  2. Donna says:

    Personally babe, I don’t think that we should be ashamed of our vacation. And I am sorry to disagree with John but we have had a lot of CRAP in our past and dealt with our share of extreme struggles. Would a married couple keep posts of their wedding off Facebook for fear of offending their single friends who don’t have a significant other? We have been in living situations where we were sleeping on a mattress on a cement floor, we’ve made it through your accident, Lydia almost dying at birth, the house fire and death of all our animals in said fire…This will be the first time my mom has EVER gone on a vacation like this…she gets to FINALLY see Mickey Mouse!! I’m not keeping that off Facebook. The rest of the family is eager to see her smiling face standing next to that mouse. We would NEVER post anything to rub our happiness in anyone’s face! We don’t post our Christmas pictures to mock anyone and this is no different. We are posting happy moments and possibly the last family vacation we will be taking with Amanda graduating this year. Everyone is well aware that 95% of FB posts are the high points of everyone’s lives and that no one has it good all the time. Truly those I would worry about offending are the very same people who are elated that we get this opportunity and are excited for us and happy to see pics. It brings joy to my heart to see my friends happy in their pics no matter where they are and they feel the same about me. If you think we shouldn’t post during vacation, then I won’t, but as we’ve talked about in other situations, we live uprightly before the Lord and our reputation we leave in His hands because we can’t live life in fear of offending people. It’s just impossible to live in a way that makes every onlooker happy. Side note: I’ve already cleaned the dog poop up out of my yard…I would suggest people do that before Spring Break, so they can sleep in and take a bike ride, a walk, or a show…dog poop is no way for anyone to spend break! Just sayin’ ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Shawn says:

    I think John might mean “if you’re on vacation, take a vacation from the technology you use every day” — which makes sense. Also, I was really just thinking out loud. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Donna says:

      OH! Oops! My bad ๐Ÿ™‚ The way I read it was like, “Keep your disgusting happiness to yourselves! LOSERS!” (jk) I get that for sure! And I don’t want our kids (or US) to be consumed by posting and miss what’s going on around us! Definitely needs to be BALANCE! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. I post vacation pictures, but I generally wait until I have returned home. And if I think I’m going to tweet anything vacation related, I lock down my profile.

    This isn’t because I don’t want to share, but because I don’t want to advertise “Hey! We’re not home! Come steal all our stuff!”

    As far as taking a vacation from technology, I cut back on my tech use a lot when I’m on vacation–there are so many other things to do, I don’t want to waste time doing stuff I can do at home. In fact, I’ve been trying to cut back on my tech use on the weekends as well. (Day trips to places without much in the way of cell service helps tremendously with that.)

    That said, I try to limit what I post, and how I post it–a handful of blog posts of pictures and details about specific sites, rather than 100 individual pictures on Facebook. Give people the choice to scroll through your pictures at their leisure, as opposed to filling up their Facebook feed when they’re just trying to see if so-and-so had their baby yet.

    Heck, you’ve seen enough of my posts to know how I do it without me having to explain all this in detail, so I’d just say–take a break from technology. Enjoy your ereader, but put it on airplane mode, and carry your phone for spur of the moment pictures, but turn off email notifications.

    Live in the moment and enjoy what you have in the now, because life is unpredictable.

  5. janiece65 says:

    It makes me happy to enjoy others’ happiness, especially when I have an emotional investment in said people.

    Having said that, though, I can think of my own “mattress on concrete” days, and admit that seeing others have experiences I couldn’t afford made me feel bittersweet and morose. YMMV

  6. Brian Westphal says:

    I think you should focus on enjoying your days. Don’t worry about sharing it all in real time. If you have some down time in the evening and want to post some of the days activities, then go for it. I think most people will be happy to see what you want to share. Have a wonderful time!

  7. Dan says:

    I agree with Donna.

    Dan.

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