Sharing Vacation Photos

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

We recently returned from a fun and exciting, and photo-filled, Spring Break trip.
But I didn't post a single picture or share a word about it until we got home. I have two reasons for this.

(1) Safety and privacy.
(2) Being present.

Let me be the first to say that I enjoy living vicariously through your vacation photos. I genuinely "like" them and I'm not against all the sharing, per se. It's the timing that I've started to think more about. Here's why.

(1) Safety and privacy: Chances are, none of my social media friends are going to break into our house while we are away. But why go through the exercise of locking our doors, putting the lights on timers, asking the neighbors to keep an eye out and grab the mail . . . if I'm just going to put up a giant virtual sign that says: WE ARE LONG GONE. Doesn't seem wise.

(2) Being present: I have a hard time turning off my internal social media feed. During the first 48 hours of our vacation, I would take a picture and immediately think of the perfect snappy caption for it . . . which is so weird. Why can't I just take a picture to enjoy and remember the moment? Why do I have to be thinking of what "my audience" (which is so narcissistic I'm grossed out by myself to say it) will find funny or enjoy? It is a habit I have to break, most especially while we are on vacation. These are OUR memories, not the world's. I need to be engaged with my family, not checking Facebook or Instagram to see how many responses I got to that adorable photo with the hilarious caption. Oh, let me just check real quick to see how many likes I got. What? Okay, hang on. Mommy will watch in a minute.

You know it's true.

If I'm thinking about those things - especially on vacation! - my priorities are skewed. I'm turing our vacation into a performance for others. Or at least, it's a slippery slope in that direction.

So, for now anyway, we've made a hard and fast rule against posting any vacation photos while we are away. Best to unplug as much as possible while we are gone, enjoy the cocoon of family time, then edit and share later.
What do you think? Am I being too strict? Share in real time or wait?

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6 Responses to “Sharing Vacation Photos”

  1. Since I have exactly the same thoughts as what you have expressed in this post, I readily declare that you are 100% right in your thinking! :-) When the whole family (dog & all) went to Texas 3 summers ago, it was difficult to refrain from posting pictures of all of our fun & exiting times, but I surely did not want to advertise our absence either. An added bonus of waiting to post the pictures is that you get to re-live the fun during that post vacation let down time.

    1. Hi Lisa - It's always nice to find someone who agrees 100% :) And I agree that re-living it through the pictures is very fun.

  2. I applaud you for pointing this out and owning it, but I do think there is a balance.
    From time to time, while on vacation, I snap a quick picture and post it because I love the moment and am caputuring it - witty comment and all, but I agree that we (as a society) seem to have found it necessary to post every moment of each vacation (and of our lives quite honestly).
    I find it probably more unsettling to have someone post each moment for me. I had no idea how much this happens until I gave up FB for Lent!
    So my vote is for a balance leaning toward no posting at all. Be present and in the moment, but don't be so rigid that when you are sitting on the balcony at the end of the day, scrolling through your pictures and you see a super cute one that you want to share, you stop and say, "No, the rule is no posting." Share and then go back to scrolling and laughing about your day.
    I believe, firmly, that it is too exhausting to live strictly by one rule or another. There is room to allow for some flexibility.
    I support you either way - and love your pictures during or after the vacay :)
    Disclaimer: By "you" I am speaking of the royal "you" - not any one person!! :)

    1. I have found that to be so true - it is exhausting to live without flexibility. So your vote for balance resonates, and it's made me think more about my position. My problem is that I find it hard to post to FB and put it away. I'm checking and liking this that and the other along the way, and rechecking, and then getting multiple notifications. It's a pandora's box. So for me, completely ignoring social media and having the discipline of a (temporary) hard and fast rule is a good thing while we are on vacation. Thank you so much for your comment - I'm glad you stopped by!

  3. I am relieved to read this post. It occurred to me sometime recently that we celebrated a birthday at the beginning of March and I had yet to post a single photo of the birthday girl. Come to think of it, I hadn't posted any pictures from Christmas. Or Thanksgiving. In fact, the last pictures I posted to FB were of my kids in their Halloween costumes... several days after.
    I know just what you mean about composing witty captions and status updates throughout my day. It is just embarrassing. I don't have a smart phone so I don't have the capabilities to instantly share life as I live it. I'm learning to be okay with that. Somehow the idea of uploading every special event has just become exhausting to me. I do enjoy looking at photos and seeing how families have grown and I don't intend to quit posting such pictures altogether, but I love that you call it "being present." I don't take pictures for the purpose of sharing them with the world. They are a record of our family memories. Before I spend an evening making an album on FB, I should finish that photo book for us.

    1. Brandee - Your last sentence says it all. When social media becomes exhausting, or when an event "doesn't seem like it happened" unless we post it somewhere . . . that's when I need to step away. That's when I need to get back to the basics of taking care of and enjoying my family, documenting what I think we'd like to remember one day, and THEN sharing a photo or two with the world if time allows. It's priorities. Also, you are probably saving yourself so much time by not having a smart phone. Just yesterday a friend told me that she deleted her FB app from her phone and she was amazed at how much free time she suddenly found. I'm considering it . . .