The Internet is great. Allowing users to instantly connect with people all around the world, it also brought along with it online banking, streaming, OpenTable and a whole lot of useful changes to humans' lives. However, one thing is to be said: Social media, another Internet-related invention, tends to force individuals to forget about enjoying the physical world we're all in. Case in point: Human behavior while on vacation.
According to a study by Expedia, the average vacationer spends nine hours of a one-week-long trip browsing social media. That translates into nine hours of being less physically present on your vacation.
Out of the 2,000 study participants, nearly half of them admitted on missing out on "vital holiday experiences because of time spent on social media" and 44% of them felt that "social media ruined their holiday experience." Yes, that's pretty sad.
Interestingly enough, it appears that the time spent online is actually self-imposed: Three-quarters of respondents felt they "needed to post to social media [while] away."
As over a third of those surveyed acknowledged that they take three-to-four pictures before sharing a single one on a social media platform, the question becomes apparent: Why are we acting this way and how do we stop?
Enter Stay Off Social, a new tool developed by Expedia that seeks to minimize the time people spend online while traveling by basically automizing the posting process. The tool first asks you to input your vacation data (destination, travel dates) and the amount of times you'd like to update your various profiles (options: every day or every two days). You'll then choose from a series of generic photos and captions and program the tool to post on your behalf.
Although the product seems pretty neat and we're all for changing social media habits for the better, may we make a suggestion? At least while traveling, turn that cellphone off, breathe the air, eat the food (without photographing it), meet the people (without friending them on Facebook) and truly live your vacation (without Instagramming it)—you won't regret it.