Good Digital Parenting
June 2, 2017

It's Called Vacation For a Reason

It is that time of year again: Summer! The sun comes out in full force and the nice days become more frequent. If you are anything like me, then you’ve been waiting for this season for about a year now, and if you are anything like my family, then you have a fun,family trip planned to jump start or end your summer. 

Every summer it seems like my family goes on at least one trip together. Although we’re on vacation, we tend to get so caught up on social media and technology, that our time together is just like we are back home in separate areas of the house. The question for this summer is, how do we avoid this from happening? How can people vacation without the use of technology or social media? 

The main thing to remember on vacation is the very definition ‘vacation’. It means to take time off, take a break, or getaway. None of these things require immediate contact with the world, but instead, it requires you to break away from where you left for a little while. There is no need to update your Facebook status every hour or day to inform people back home what you are doing and plan to do for your time away. Take your time away to cleanse yourself from the pressures of social media and interact with the people surrounding you whether they are locals or family members. 

Planning a trip to a tropical place where you can sit on the beach and relax? Well here is some good news. This kind of trip is actually a lot easier to avoid social media and here’s why: Technology, sand, and a hot sun are not friends. They do not mesh well and for that reason alone it is good to avoid using your devices during these types of trips. Now some may say they want to take pictures and make sure they have photos of their memories and that’s a great idea! I would suggest however, investing in a camera that isn’t connected to your phone. If you must use your phone however, instead of buying that extra data supply to use during your time away from WIFI, try putting your phone on airplane mode so you aren’t tempted to post it anywhere until later. While Snapchat and Facebook posts are fun, they may also make friends at home jealous of your fun trip, it isn’t needed and can actually take away from the valuable time you could be spending with your group. 

The best thing a family could do on a family trip in this day in age is to leave their phones behind (besides one or two people in case of emergencies or if the group splits up.)  Bring a good book to read on the beach, plan activities as a family that will keep you all engaged and busy, talk with one another and get to know the local area. There is so much to do while on vacation and if all else fails, sit and quietly look at your surroundings whether you are on a beach, in the woods, or in a resort, there’s always something to see and be engaged in. I challenge everyone going on a vacation of any sort this summer to put their technology away and actually take their well deserved getaway for all it has to offer.