Sharing vs experiencing

2013-09-30 13:48

"Wow! An open field of yellow flowers! Let's pull over and take some pics of us frolicking through it... Instagram gold, if ever I found any. The perfect opportunity to bust my 20-likes cap." 

It's terrifying how my thoughts have come to run this course while travelling. So eager to share my experiences, I often end up not really ‘experiencing' things in the first place, at all. 

However, half the fun of travelling is collecting the memories and being able to share them... or what?

This is the dilemma that has come to bug me recently - do I ‘unplug' entirely and experience fully or do I try dividing my attention between experiencing and sharing as I go?

Well, what better way to try figure out this #firstworldproblem of the highest order than a pros and cons list. 

Unplugging to experience


- Switching off from all social media, email and instant messaging for a little while is a wonderfully freeing experience, especially if you work in an online environment.

- There's nothing to distract your attention from the realness happening all around you. You actually get to eat a hot meal, because it you didn't waste time trying to get the perfect shot before digging in. 

- You actually get to see landscapes in their full glory and not in the limiting frame of your phone's screen. It's like the whole world is opening up to you again.

- PLUS there's no stress! You don't need to worry about the passive-aggressive tone of your ex best friend's Facebook comment or deal with that niggling little issue at the office.

- You will reconnect with those around you IRL like you haven't in quite a while, without anyone being stuck in the matrix of some banal Whatsapp conversation.

- In short, switching off will really help you reconnect with yourself and possibly find a little bit of that ever-elusive thing we call inner-peace.


- There WILL be withdrawal and it WILL be intense. To many of us, our phones are a sort of safety blanket - if we're sitting somewhere alone waiting and don't want to look like a dork, we whip out our mobile, if we're feeling a little bored, we quickly check our Facebook feeds, if we want to share our latest pearl of wisdom, we rush on over to Twitter. And now suddenly... NONE of that! It's pretty intense.

- Also, you can't stay switched off forever, unfortunately. So, when the weekend/holiday is over, you'll have to plug yourself back into the virtual world and it will probably be a little overwhelming - all the emails, the flood of fomo that normally comes with a scroll through your Facebook feed. But, hopefully your newly found inner peace will be help you ride out the storm. 

In conclusion: Just because you switched off while you were away doesn't mean that you shouldn't share about your weekend at all. Once you get home and you've settled into your normal routine, go through all your photos (of course you took some!) and pick a few of the best to share on social media or post to your blog. 

Doing this will also allow you to relive your break - all the good memories, moments of awe and laughs. Imagine if you'd posted all of that while you were there, you'd have no reason to go back and reminisce now. 

Sharing while you're there


- Life's busy and you probably won't have time to sort through photos and memories on your return from a trip anyway, so being able to share as you go is the bomb!

- It's great to interact with people on social media who have been or would like to go to the destination you're visiting. Those who've been can give you tips of sights and activities, and you can do the same for those who still want to go. It definitely boosts your online presence and credibility.

- Sharing is just another form of experiencing your surrounds. Although ‘soaking up' a destination might be great, it's not the only way to do it. Posting pictures of where you are and what you're doing is does not necessarily detract from your break.


- It's super frustrating when connections are patchy and the photos you're trying to post keep failing. That just sullies your whole mood!

- You're so busy editing, posting pics and reposting those that didn't go through the first time that you sort of lose track of time, conversations and what's happening around you. Before you know it, everyone's finished their meal and you've barely started. Just as you find the perfect angle to shoot your bored travel companions are ready to hit the road to the next activity or sight.

- Your battery runs down so quickly. If you're on the road all day, chances are your battery will die before you reach somewhere to charge it... and you forgot your car charger. Again - totally frustrating and a real mood killer. 

In conclusion: Chances are good that sharing as you go will encourage interaction in your social media streams, create a feeling of community and maybe get you a 'k' on Klout for travel... if building a strong travel-related social media network is important to you, then by all means.

However, it might be a good idea to have the odd exception to the rule, where you just sit back and relax on a trip once in a while. 

Read more on:    adventure  |  travel  |  travel south africa

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