Mute the Mobile. Turn off the Tablet. BE on Holiday.
It’s always our 21st century intention, isn’t it? Finally those precious 2 weeks of lazing around with the family (whether at home or away) has arrived and we are determined to leave the world of work… and the time-intrusive universe of social media somewhere in cyberspace while we relax. But the reality is we just can’t quite allow ourselves to resist the temptation.
So we’ll just take a sneak peek while our other half is…
Having a snooze/ordering drinks at the bar/taking the kids off for a walk. You know… just in case the world has stopped spinning without us. Just in case something ‘breaking’ and important has happened in the our homeland. Just in case our best friend needs to update us on her latest dating escapade. Just in case the office has fallen to pieces and we are THE only one who can save the entire company from a financial meltdown.
And while we’re at it we’ll…
Just quickly post those pictures of the family day trip from this morning/our husband feasting on his Philly Cheese Steak last night/our wife looking hot in her bikini as she takes a dip in the Caribbean waves half an hour ago. Because, well, we’ve got statuses to keep up, a whole mini world of followers to inform, select family and friends to make ever so slightly jealous, and, okay, I’ll come straight out with it: Egos to inflate. Yes, I do mean our own!
Don’t be denying it!
You’re as guilty as me for momentarily abandoning the intended mindfulness of your vacation to showcase your wonderful lifestyle/remind your colleagues that they simply cannot function without your skill, talent, genius and leadership. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all… after the event. Because the whole point of the holiday is to… Switch It Off!
And that means…
Switch off your mind. Quit the over-thinking, over-analysing, need for validation, boasting, self-importance and vanity. We didn’t used to feel the need to capture moments of our holiday in a Selfie Stick frenzy and then post them immediately right back to the world like we’re some kind of news reporter hell bent on getting their scoop into the office first! Quite the opposite, we used to physically BE in our holiday scenes. We might have taken pictures with cameras a decade ago. But that was it. The rest of the time we were actually there unwrapping Christmas presents or sitting on the beach. In mind, body AND spirit. And so, those photos that we printed – way back when and before everything became stored on our gadgets – literally transported us right back to a special time and a place, often shared with family and friends, after the event. We can still smell the lavender just by reminiscing over those photos of Provence, and we can still taste the Eggnog our mother always made at Christmas while we sang around the piano. We took the photo simply as a reminder. Job done. The rest of the time we put all our focus and attention on being on the vacation, admiring the surroundings, watching the dolphins in awe as they dipped in and out of the Mediterranean sea, reveling in the awesomeness of Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie at Thanksgiving and thinking how badly our kids are singing at the school concert (without watching them through the eyes of our iphone).
It makes such a difference to the quality of a vacation when we embrace these moments.
Our children are happier for it. Our other halves are happier for it. We are happier for it. The act of constantly uploading photos of our tour of London to Facebook as the journey unfolds, and tweeting our various poses out and about in Paris with our Selfie Sticks so we capture the perfect group photo (as opposed to practicing our French and asking a local to capture us a little more ‘au naturel’ without looking like we’re a family of goldfish puckering up for a French kiss) is, in and of itself, bloody stressful.
Which totally contradicts the essence of the vacation and the very reason we spent so much money to escape in the first place!
So this year, I challenge you to mute your mobile, turn off your tablet, give up your gadgets and BE. Enjoy your new culinary adventures without snapping every dish like a foodie blogger (unless you are on a foodie blogger’s work trip… then I will let you off). Enjoy the cocktails without feeling the need to prove to your posse back in Pittsburgh that you can still let down your hair despite the fact you have 3 kids. Enjoy the weather without it being an essential requirement that you Tweet snaps of the cloudless sky or snow covered garden back to your 10,000 followers. Yes, even if you are famous. Your entourage can live without these facts for 14 days. I know you find that hard to believe, but they actually can. And in so doing, well, you will encourage everyone to have a more spiritual rest when they go on holiday, thus reversing this kerazy trend of #instantaneousreportage.
Everybody you’ve left back home, or more precisely, in your second home of Social Media Land is in their little bubble anyway.
And soon you will be right back there re-joining them… so by all means, update your photos then. But just for NOW, just for these precious few days, try to be intentional about living in your own little bubble too… Who knows what might happen if you can do that! You could finally get to reading all those literary classics you have on your life’s To Do list because your evening is suddenly filled with calm and focus instead of random web wanderings, you could be spontaneous on your Christmas weekend away and hire a car to the mountains, or you could even enroll on a culinary course now your brain has alerted itself to the opportunities the posh campsite or the log cabin is offering to its visitors.
You might… you just might even meet your soul mate. In person. Imagine that!