I Wish You Weren’t Here: Social Media & Vacations


At the beach the other day, two young women sat at the edge of the surf, smiled broadly, and took selfies of themselves to post on Facebook.

I watched the whole thing develop.

I know a few things their friends on Facebook probably don’t.

  • It had just rained
  • The water was freezing (they only sat in the water for the photos – and immediately got out)
  • They bickered with each other for at least an hour before the photos
  • They left, with frowns, right after the photos

On Facebook it probably looks like a magical day at the beach.

In reality – not so much.

Social media is a great communications tool, but it has also become a myth-making platform. A way for people to post about the life they wish they had – or at least the life they want other people to think they have.

Vacations are always a fine line on social channels, particularly Facebook.

Obviously, vacations are fun. They are a break from the usual and generate a lot of photographs, memories and experiences. Stuff that you want to share with family and friends.

But at some point it can get obnoxious to be posting photos of your toes in the sand or of a pair of cocktail glasses with colorful umbrellas in them.

My rule has always been less is more. Maybe one or two pictures or observations that at least try to trend away from bragging.

But for the most part I use my vacation to take a vacation from social media. I avoid Facebook and Twitter. I put a “Gone Fishin'” sign on my blog. I try to not look at email (I’m not always successful on this one – but I try for the sake of my family).

By taking a real vacation and a social media vacation at the same time I can avoid appearing like I’m boasting about what I fantastic get-away I’m having while you’re toiling away in your cubicle or meeting in a windowless conference room.

What is your take on vacations and social media? How do you handle sharing vacations on your social channels? Does it annoy you when friends and family overshare their own vacations?


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4 Responses to “I Wish You Weren’t Here: Social Media & Vacations”

  1. My husband talks about how awesome our last vacation together was and how he wants to do it again soon. Yes it was fun, except when he was constantly on facebook talking about how much fun he was having while I sat there patiently waiting for him. hahaha Clueless…..

  2. I’ve seen that in action as well. People who aren’t enjoying a moment because they are too busy recording the moment for posting purposes.

  3. Nice post! I love the myth-making comment. So often, I feel as if people deliberately set out to make their Facebook another means to market themselves or sketch an idyllic, perfect life. The example you gave is perfect. I know another person who crops, edits, and culls unflattering photographs to herself. Very interesting.


  1. Fresh Pressed: 7/12/13 | CopyPressed - July 12, 2013

    […] I Wish You Weren’t Here: Social Media & Vacations […]

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