Why I spend less time on social media when traveling

There are days in which I spend way too much time by myself. I focus on my own thoughts, my problems and my own to do list. It is easier to spend time wondering about your own problems than those of others. However, it is far more gratifying to take on a challenge for and with your peers.

Is there such a thing as too much alone time? I definitely think so.

Interestingly enough, distance is a very deciding factor in this. I don’t know if i‘ve ever really been homesick. Distance does not bother me much, just a lack of communication.

Travel is a conversation starter

The funny thing is that when I travel, I feel others pay far more attention to me and my wellbeing. They want to make sure that I am well and touch base more frequently, than when I‘m at home.

And I do the same, too. Whenever I am far away from home – well, at least far enough that I cannot get back home at night and sleep in my own bed – I call my friends more often and reach out to my family to touch base.

Being in a new place is of course a great conversation starter. You want to tell „everyone“ about your experiences and brand new impressions. Hence, I too pick up the phone more frequently when I am on the road and simply call my home base to share my impressions.

Social media is not always the right outlet

I have been on the road quite a lot in the last couple of years. I spend an average of 10-15 days per month in hotels in central Europe, or the United States. And every time I travel, I learn something new.

The food is different, the streets, people and modes of transportation are different – everything is, really. I guess my days would be fantastically instagramable :-D.

Yet, when I am on the road, I‘d rather soak up the impressions of the people and how they live than share pictures of „them“ and these situations on Instagram or Facebook. I love to take photos, though. I‘ve always got a decent camera in my travel bag, ready to go. But whereas we seem to have created a habit of needing to share every single image we take, I would rather keep some or even most images for that matter, to myself.

Traveling is a personal experience. And the things that stand out to me, regardless of whether they resonate with my social media following or not, are somewhat „private“ in a sense.

Social media helps me connect

Okay, but I can also not deny that social media play a big role in the lives we live. Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook are great communication platforms, that help us get the conversation started. These platforms are a way of showing what it is I am working on and what I do.

And even though I preach to my clients that they should be more outgoing and share their journey as much as the end results, I personally don‘t do much of it.

I think the main reason for my lack of social media communication is the fact that I am less alone on my travels than when I am at home. I actively pick up the phone and force the conversations when I am not there.

Hence, the need to share a picture of every single restaurant I‘ve been to or the 100th image of some random skyscraper on 5th avenue in NYC is just not interesting to me. I‘d rather FaceTime my parents and friends personally and show them around ;-).

Maybe this will give you something to think about, too. Share your impressions, involve others in your lives, but don‘t forget to connect. Social Media is a conversation starter, not the actual conversation.

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Also published on Medium.

Remco Livain
I’m a digital entrepreneur, online performance marketeer, founder and CEO of the digital innovation consultancy GANDT Ventures (based in Switzerland). We support organizations (SMBs, corporates and later stage ventures) in their digital efforts. I learned the trades of the (online) business at Venture Stars (MIFLORA), Rocket Internet (Westwing Home and Living) and Insparx (C-Date and be2).

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