In the age of social media, traveling and not posting about it means it basically didn’t happen.
Taking the perfect travel photo has become an obsession and in the era of social media, it’s almost an addiction. Experiencing a new destination is exciting and it’s totally normal to want to share your adventures with friends and family back home, but you have to keep in mind how your actions affect the experience of other travelers. The thrill of visiting a new destination can be overshadowed by the need to capture the moment and put it on display for validation through “likes” and views. Here are a few tips on social media etiquette for travelers.
It may seem like a good idea to hold the phone at arm’s length and do a 360 degree turn so your Snapchat followers can get a glimpse of where you’re at, but do this with caution. It’s fun to give a play-by-play of the elephant sanctuary in Thailand but will it spook the animals? Are you so focused on the video that you aren’t paying attention to others around you and you smack someone with your long arms? Take these things into consideration when you’re planning to start a live feed of your activities.
Before you visit any new destination or attraction, make sure to do your research. Certain places do not allow visitors to be on their phones and you don’t want to seem like the arrogant traveler who didn’t pay it any mind to learn the rules beforehand. Restrictions on photography are common around the world so make sure to read up on where you to plan to visit so you aren’t caught taking a selfie in a place where it’s forbidden.
It’s easy to get lost in the moment when focusing on the amazing sights around you, whether you’re walking along The Great Wall of China, visiting The Louvre, or climbing Machu Picchu. You feel blessed to experience these world wonders in real life and you’re in awe. Your fellow travelers feel the same way. You all want to take the time to capture the monuments or paintings in the perfect light with the best angle, but don’t forget there are others waiting to snap a pic also.
While it may take several tries to snap the perfect photo, taking up that much time can be quite inconsiderate to the others in the area. Be mindful of how long you’re taking in a certain place or if people start to congregate while they wait for you to move along.
Lastly, but most important. You’ve traveled a long way and have been waiting for this moment. Don’t take away from this once in a lifetime opportunity by only seeing things through a handheld screen. Snap a few photos but don’t forget to live in the moment. Uploading to social media can wait. You are finally living the story you’ve been dreaming about. Look around you, take in the tiny details, breathe in the air around you. You may only be in this destination one time in your life, it’s worth experiencing authentically.
How do you handle social media while traveling?