Take a vacation from social media


courtesy of Nicki Borella

The most pressing philosophical question of our summer era: if someone goes on a trip and fails to Instagram it, did they really go at all?

June, July and August never fail to deliver an overload of photography cliches. On an average day, my Instagram and Twitter feeds feature anywhere from 3-26 poolside pictures showing just enough leg to prove that yes, the photographer is indeed actually there and not just stealing a picture off Google.

Instagram is the place to go for beachy sunsets and inspiring ocean views. Admiring the snapshots is almost as good as the real deal; it’s like going on endless vacations from the comfort of your bed.

My personal favorite is the classic hello/goodbye Arch picture to stir up a bit of St. Louis pride. Yes! You’re finally back in misery. Um, I mean, Missouri. I have to hold myself back from “liking” each and every one of these.

I scroll past toes in sand, smoothies in hand, new boy toys from out of town. I decide to keep my summer tales of Netflix marathons and ice cream dates with my mom to myself. I would hate to make my jet-setting friends jealous.

Really, if anyone should be pitied, it’s them. There is nothing worse than dealing with sand sticking to wet feet, and who wants those awful tan lines from basking in the sun all day? Thank goodness I’ve managed to keep my nice, even pastiness all summer.

With more than 40 million pictures posted and viewed each day by 90 million users according to the Washington Post, Instagram is quickly replacing Twitter and Facebook. Now, Instagram photos are the premier means for staying up to date on the comings and goings of your acquaintances during the summer months.

In fact, the Huffington Post claims the typical teen now spends more time on Instagram than Twitter. The average user spends 257 minutes per month sharing and viewing photos, so those artsy updates can seriously cut into your vacation time.

Those 257 minutes translate into 4.28 hours. Or to put it in terms that pertain to me, that’s four and a half episodes of Gossip Girl. That alone could deepen your tan roughly three shades.

So my summer Instagram advice? Get off your phone and enjoy your vacation. Leave the social media stalking to the poor souls at home (like me). You can tell me all about your trip when you get back to misery. Oops, Missouri.

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