EVERYONE, FROM GENERATION Z TO BABY BOOMERS, seems to be obsessed with their electronic devices. Whether it is their iPhone, tablet, gaming console, etc., it seems like we are always plugged into our devices more than we are plugged into the actual world around us. That’s why, when we’re on vacation, we need to put the electronics down and try to forget about their existence. Put the devices down slowly, walk away, and actually enjoy the beautiful world that surrounds you!
How often do you go out to dinner, look around, and see a family of five with their noses in their phones instead of actually engaging in conversation? How many times have you been that family?
How often have you gone into a mandatory work meeting, and instead of conversing with your co-workers and asking about their new puppy or their kids, you’re scrolling through social media and praying that nobody tries to talk to you?
How often are you at a party and nod your head at the person who is trying to engage in conversation with you, wishing they would just go away because you want to get back to examining your Instagram homepage?
How often have you tripped over the sidewalk or run into a glass door because your eyes were fixated on your phone instead of on your surroundings (I’m totally not saying this happens to me on a regular basis)?
If you said no to all of these, you’re probably lying.
I could go on and on, but my point is, how often are we “too busy”, wrapped up in the online world, instead of paying attention to the very real, very exciting one right in front of us?
Way. Too. Often.
So, when you’re on vacation, put the phone down and look up. Look around. Take in your surroundings. Enjoy the cultures, the sceneries, the smells, and the activities you’re participating in. The entire point of vacation is to break away from the mundane of your everyday life. But, if you’re still constantly on your device, the only thing that’s different is the ground you’re walking on!
Believe me, I’m not against technology. I love Instagram and iMessage; it helps me stay in contact with all of my favorite people! But, vacations are meant for us to disconnect from the outside world, to relax, and to reflect on who we are and what we want out of life. Being so connected to our devices means that we’re really only halfway experiencing everything. We’re documenting this activity on Snapchat and posting this picture to Instagram and checking how many likes you got at this “check-in” on Facebook. In doing all of that, we aren’t actually enjoying these experiences… we’re actually just documenting them for everyone to think we are having the time of our life, but in reality, we are just drowning in our phones.
It’s so important to live in the moment—to be present in our own lives. We tend to think that our online presence makes or breaks us. The number of followers we have on Instagram or the number of friends we have on Facebook is somehow equivalent to our self-worth. But isn’t that silly? You aren’t measured by how many likes you get on your latest photo or how many comments you receive on your newest status update.
Carpe diem, guys! Live in the present and enjoy every second of this beautiful thing we get to experience called life.