When I think about visiting Myanmar, one of the things I’m most excited about is that it’s probably going to be difficult to use the internet. For a travel blogger and self-confessed social media addict this is weird right? But I’ve decided it’s the perfect time for a social media detox.
Here’s the thing: I’m starting to realize that I’m addicted to social media. So much so, that I think it’s having a negative impact on my travels. Technology allows us to be constantly connected, which can be a great thing when we need to get in touch with people from home.
But I find that when I’m traveling and constantly uploading photos and updated my status it takes me out of the present, and I’m no longer truly experiencing that moment. Instead, I’m mentally miles away, head down, face buried in my iPhone, ignoring my surroundings.
I feel like I’m in a time of transition at the moment, and I need to think about where I’ll end up in the new year, how I plan to make enough money to continue traveling, and the things and people that are truly important in my life. And let’s face it: social media makes us all a little narcissistic. We end up comparing our lives to other peoples, and wondering if we measure up.
Instead of wasting time scrolling past baby photos and cat videos, I want to be completely present in the moment. I want to be soaking up every second of traveling in a country that I’ve been excited about visiting for a really long time. And I want to prove to myself that I don’t need to be constantly connected in order to share my travels.
This is going to be hard. I’m the kinda girl who feels naked if my phone isn’t in my hand, and after taking a photo it feels natural to instantly upload it and wait for the likes and comments. But do I really need that validation? Does that beautiful picture only count if others are able to immediately see it?
So how will I do it?
I’m not really a detox kinda girl. I have an addictive personality which is why I never took up smoking-I know I’d never be able to quit. The only way I’ll be able to succeed for the full twelve days is by going cold turkey. This means I’ll be deleting Facebook, Twitter and Instagram off my iPhone, since I can’t trust myself to not have a sneaky scroll.
I’ve also found a great productivity app that I’m loving. It’s called SelfControl, and I installed in on my Mac today and gave it quick whirl. Basically you enter in the websites that you want to be restricted from, and the time you’d like to focus on other tasks, and you can’t access any of those sites without completely restarting your computer (which I only do every few days anyway, since I always have a million tabs up and I’m lazy).
And the best part is that I can add a million websites to the list. Among social media sites, I’ll also be adding a lot of big news websites like cnn.com and news.com.au, as well as sites I use to kill tons of time like jezebel.com and postsecret.com.
This will be great for my productivity when I settle down in Chiang Mai and begin freelancing again, and I think it’ll also be awesome for my mood. I’m also a news junkie, and while I’ve always prided myself on knowing what’s going on in the world, trawling the news sites is not only an easy way to waste a few hours, but it often leaves me feeling sad and depressed.
I don’t know if I’ll make it the full twelve days, but I’m definitely hoping I will. I think it will be good for me to completely disconnect, experience each moment and take the time to write about them.
If you’re not following me then you totally should, cause I post some pretty cool photos of traveling and food, (along with inspirational travel quotes and selfies). You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and I’ll see you in 11 days, with some amazing photos from Myanmar!
P.S if you still want to contact me, I’ll definitely be checking my emails and love hearing from my readers. You can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org