When you go away, do you check in on Facebook before you’ve even checked into your hotel? Do you find it hard to resist logging onto every whiff of wi-fi that you encounter? If so, take a seat and make yourself comfortable. It’s time for an #intervention.
Travel a time for relaxing, exploring, spending time with the people who mean the most to you or – if you’re travelling solo – reconnecting with yourself and finding new friends. They are not a time for scrolling through newsfeeds, seeing which cat videos your colleague finds amusing or which old school friend is getting married.
The following nine steps are designed to get you offline and back into the real world, where filters are found in coffee machines and you “like” things with a smile.
1. Delete your apps
You heard me. Delete them. Every last one. You can download them again when you’re back home. This way the only route into social-media-land is via the internet (remember the internet?), and who can be bothered with that when there’s exploring to be done?
2. Turn off notifications
If you can’t handle deleting your apps (see step 1), at the very least turn off those damn notifications. You’re on your holidays – do you really want your phone buzzing in the middle of the night telling you that creepy Mark from the office has “liked” something you posted online two years ago?
3. Bring a disposable camera (yep, they still exist)
We’ll be the first to admit that camera phones are a quick and convenient way of taking photos while away. But way more fun is to pick up a couple of disposable cameras and take snaps the old-fashioned way. Mark our words: going to get photos developed after a trip is just as fun now as it was when you were a kid.
4. Post it when you get home
Do people need to see that picture of your (admittedly very well-manicured) feet in front of the sea right now? This very second? Absolutely not. Stop worrying about your online friends and go and bury a real one in the sand.
5. Write postcards
Rather than posting about your trip online, why not focus on a few people who really care about you and write them a postcard? If you choose a goodun it’ll live on their fridge for years to come, rather than fleetingly on their timeline.
6. Keep a diary
Some people use social media as an online memory bank. But there are other ways of keeping a log of your trips. Bring a diary on your next trip and try to write an entry every day, and then keep it somewhere safe so you can reminisce years later. An added bonus: a diary doubles up as a convenient place to shove all the tickets and bits of indispensable bumf that accumulate over a trip.
7. Step away from the wi-fi
Believe it or not, there was once a time when you would go away and not use the internet at all. It was called everything that ever happened before the noughties. When you first get to a hotel or restaurant, resist asking for that wi-fi code unless you really need it. Otherwise there’s a fair chance that you’ll relapse on your social media abstinence.
8. Travel somewhere that doesn’t have the internet
If you’re serious about giving up social media, you could always take a “digital detox” and travel somewhere that doesn’t have internet access at all. Here are 19 places where you won’t get a scratch of wi-fi or 4G. And you won’t want to, either.
9. Go t-total: leave your smartphone behind
You nearly spilled your flat white on your i-sock, you’re so appalled. But hear me out. If you’re serious about giving up social media on holiday, go and buy a pay-as-you-go phone on the cheap and pack that instead of your smart phone. That way you can make a call in an emergency, but there’s no way you’ll be tempted into using social media while away. Go on… what’s the worst that could happen?