Calling Bullshit On A Holiday ‘Social Media Cleanse’

We're all already connected so much of the time, is it really that much of an issue if we choose to not switch off on holiday too?

Calling Bullshit On A Holiday 'Social Media Cleanse'

by Alyss Bowen |
Published on

As a social media editor it’s a given that I’m pretty switched onto my social media at all times of the day and this doesn’t change when I go abroad. In fact, my social media activity probably increases massively as I have far more things to take pictures, videos and gifs of to then roll out in a neat little holiday package across my social channels. Hi, I’m Alyss, and I’m a social media addict, even when on holiday.

Search ‘social media holiday cleanse’ and your greeted with an array of articles on how to take a social media vay-cay or ‘what we can learn from a 30-day social media detox.’ But with a huge 2.3 billion active users across social media yearly, most of us just aren't stopping. So why is it seen as a negative thing, if it's clear we all want to share while on holiday.

I asked a handful of friends if they clocked off social when they went abroad and only one responded witha yes. Sarah*, 26, actively switches off her mobile data when abroad. Her reasoning? 'When I'm abroad I want to feel present in my holiday, so by turning off my mobile data I don't have that temptation to check my accounts. For me it's about taking a break from everything that's going on in the real world. Plus I'd probably get FOMO if I checked what my friends were up to.' But what if part of being 'present in the moment' on holiday is by sharing that moment on social? We're all already connected so much of the time, is it really that much of an issue if we choose to not switch off on holiday too?

Mobile companies are getting wise to this - Three Mobile have expanded their ‘Feel at Home’ scheme so customers can use their mobile data for no extra charge in 42 countries (Germany, Greece, Hungary, America - you name it, it’s on the list) so in 2016 using social media abroad is easier than ever. So for social media addicts like myself this is why it's OK if you choose not to switch off when you get on the plane.


Where else are we going to show off?

It’s not everyday you get to share pictures of your poolside, beachside, whatever else side your staring at on your Instagram, is it? What happens when you get back to grey England and have zero things to boast about on your Insta? You go four days without posting, which is obviously fine but if we can’t have a casual humble brag on Instagram then where can we?

People like holiday photos

Even if they say they don’t, they are lying. I just had a quick look the pictures uploaded from my holiday and I can confirm that they received an extra handful of likes than my everyday London life ones. Obviously when someone goes away and spams the hell out of your feed, it can get overwhelming (and by overwhelming I mean, we get jealous) but most of us tend to hit ‘like’ because let’s face it, who doesn’t love a beach shot?

It’s nice to be connected with the world

I went away this summer with my parents. My father does not use social media, nor does he get it. Yes he is that stereotypical dad that tells me to ‘put my phone away,’ when I try to snap a picture of an impressive view. His argument? ‘You’re on holiday, why do you need to be so switched on all the time checking what’s happening on Snapchat, Instagram and whatever other platforms you use?’ My argument? I LIKE being connected. I get that it’s part of my job to be connected and when on holiday I should probably take a break, but it’s our generations way of seeing what friends and family are getting up to on a daily basis. We text less, post more. It makes me happy to aimlessly scroll through my feeds and see what people are getting up too, even when on holiday. Plus, it's like second nature - I don't view it as a negative, I just check because I want to.

It’s like having an online photo diary

Instead of taking up space on your phone with the 3458 pictures you took on holiday, you can delete all those extra ones and just look at the ones you posted on social media instead. Or save them in Snapchat memories and repurpose them as a #FBF later down the line when you’re on a holiday comedown.

Interacting with friends makes us happy, science says so

A study conducted at the Carnegie Mellon University showed that social media interactions on Facebook can actually have a positive impact on our wellbeing. Those interactions have to be from people you know in real life (so think chatting to an old school friend on Facebook Messenger) but they could have a similar impact on your happiness as a major life event like getting married. So you know, quite a big deal - you're reconsidering downloading the Facebook app now aren't you.

So, do you switch off when you go abroad? Or are you glued to your Instagram like me? Why not join in on the conversation over at '


Like this? You might also be interested in…

**In Defense Of Being On Social Media. All Day, Every Day! **

**Gemma Styles: How Social Media’s Totally Changed My IRL Behaviour **

**Digital Mourning: Has Social Media Changed The Way We Grieve For Good? **

Follow Alyss on Instagram @alyssbowen

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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