That social media is one of the most powerful and widespread forms of communication today is without doubt. We use it for everything – from finding out about our favorite brand of shoes, to catching up with a former colleague, to searching for jobs.
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and the like can help us feel connected. But, there is a flip side to social media as well. This summer if the endless sharing of cruise photos, toes on the beach and the like is starting to wear you down, take heart. Here are some strategies to remember when engaging in social media.
Remember that trip didn’t happen overnight. A vacation, especially an expensive, exotic one, takes a lot of budgeting and planning. The photos you’re seeing in your Facebook feed – well there were hours and hours of research and planning that went into making them possible. You’ll likely never know how much scrimping occurred in the months (even years) leading up to the trip.
Understand that the images and comments you’re seeing are carefully curated. It’s human nature to share the very best parts of our lives, and to tuck away the difficult times. Two reasons. First, putting our best foot forward is something we learn early in life. Second, no one wants to burden their friends with the nitty-gritty details of the blow-up over dinner last night.
Don’t over interpret the images you see. Just because the neighbors are having a grand time in Paris doesn’t mean that they’re richer, smarter, happier or more deserving than you are. When you see a vacation pic that arouses that green-eyed monster, take a step back and think about what’s important to you. Is your focus on vactioning? Or is your family focused on other things, like athletics, mission trips to help others, growing the kids’ college fund or setting aside a nest egg for retirement?
View the posts for what they are. If it were you, would you be posting on social media to make others envious? Or would your goal be more benign … like just sharing the beautiful scenery? When in doubt, always assume the best of your friends, neighbors, family and co-workers.
An exotic getaway may not be in the cards for you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun. All too often we think we have to get away in order to have a great vacation. But consider this: Every year, tens of thousands of people make their way to Lexington and surrounding areas to vacation! There are hundreds of things to do, places to visit, history to explore, and trails to hike all within a day’s drive. For some ideas, visit KentuckyTourism.com.
Make a plan. One of the best parts of vacation is planning for it. Go head, make a long-range plan to go to the Grand Canyon, take a cruise or spend a week at Disneyworld. Make lists of everything you want to see and do, get the kids involved in doing research and set your budget. Review your finances to determine how much you’ll need to set aside over the next 12 to 18 months to make your vacation a reality. Involve the entire family in working toward the goal. Write your plan down and post it where everyone can see it. Talk about your progress regularly and celebrate as you reach milestones along the way. Before you know it, you’ll be posting your own photos on social media.
Finally, if it is just getting to be too much, take a vacation from social media! There are lots of options for taking a break, including just not opening up the app. It might be hard at first, but substitute real time with real people and you won’t suffer too much for too long. In fact, you might just find that you, and your family, are closer and more connected.
In 1966, Bluegrass was the first community mental health center in Kentucky. From that date, our mission has been clear, we exist to help children, adults and families live their best life. For more information about services available through Bluegrass, visit the website at Bluegrass.org or call our 24-hour helpline at 1-800-928-8000.