Smart Phones Addiction

Smart Phone Addiction

This picture above sums up exactly what the problem with our current world is. We are all so wrapped up with trying to capture a moment that we forget that we are actually supposed to be living in the moment. The world of social media and the drive to achieve stardom through likes or shares has robbed us of much of the experiences that make life truly amazing.

What many people fail to realize is that by trying to capture the moment, we are in fact only experiencing the moment through our screens and could very well be at home or the office as the view would be the same. The photo above shows the older, less tech savvy generation living in the moment and enjoying the experience for what it really is. Yes there will be no posting or likes afterwards but life should be about you, your experience and that fleeting moment that cannot be relived which is what makes it special.

Our travel experiences have always been occasions to capture meaningful moments but how do we control our use of our electronics during our travels and what are some practical tips to finding the balance?


Schedule Time

Staying up to date with events back home and generally surfing social media might be too much for some to give up while on holiday. I find it relatively easy to do so as I spend only a limited amount of time during the day surfing as my schedule does not allow for more.

Should you be one of those, I don’t want to say addict so let’s call them enthusiasts, why not schedule a specific time period during the day to either catch up or upload the photos you have taken. Most hotels these days offer free WiFi so it might be a good idea to allocate say half an hour in the morning in the hotel to upload your posts before disconnecting while on the next adventure.

Recharging our batteries can really only happen when we unplug from the daily grind and if we maintain the same routines as we have while at home when it comes to social media, our minds will not be allowed to disengage and to take in what is around us.


Offline Downloads

Our phones have become an essential part for navigation, fact researching or tourist hotspot location identification and this is not necessarily a negative thing. Having a phone handy can prevent you getting lost, assist with real time feedback, optimize a travel schedule etc just to name a few of the many advantages.

The potential negative side effect is that having network service available could be a temptation to get lost in social media surfing when you should be immersing yourself in a new cultural experience.

There are a number of apps that allow for downloading of content to be available when the networks are not. Google also has offline maps that are on offer which you can download to be used when not within Hotel WiFi range. This is a great feature to lessen the temptation to quickly check your feed while waiting for the bus. It takes self-discipline and a little planning but the benefits of unplugging ourselves from our devices is undoubtedly noticeable.


Network Access

There is no doubt that it is important to have access to the mobile network in a new country, especially in unfamiliar cities or countries. Purchasing 1 sim card for a group not only reduces wasted expenses on having to purchase multiple sim cards but giving the network access to the most disciplined person in the group also forces the other, possibly less disciplined members, to fully enjoy the experience for which so much money has been spent.

This is not a perfect solution and some might see this as extreme but if you are serious about getting the most out of your adventure and the temptation is just too much, then why not give it a try.

Should you wish to try something different, try switching your phone onto flight mode while on tour as an extra step against absentmindedly browsing the news feed. This extra step might assist in breaking the cycle and assist in engaging you in the experience at hand.


Capture What Inspires You


In the quest for the most likes on Facebook and Instagram, people have forgotten that the most important person in this journey is YOU. You should take photos that inspire YOU and bring great memories of YOUR travels. Your experience should not be centered constantly around this fictitious audience with the ultimate goal of likes and exposure unless of coarse you are a Travel Blogger or Influencer. In that case, it is your job to maximize exposure but for the rest of us, this should not be the case.

Sharing the best parts of any adventure is a great experience whether it be with friends, family of colleagues but this should not be done at the expense of the overall journey. I have seen jokes being made amongst friends about Instagram food photos taking so long that by the time that perfect photo has been captured, the food is cold.

With that in mind, a photo should not interfere with the experience otherwise what is the point. The proverbial food should take priority of the Instagram photo.  Eat the food and tell others about how great it tasted rather than just showing a photo of it.


Final Thoughts

Our lives are fast paced, short & chaotic and it is completely understandable that this generation is trying as hard as possible to hang onto these moments for as long as possible before they are lost and forgotten. The need to capture key moments has always been important since the time when the first camera was made available but self-control and a practical approach to our mobile phones needs to be exercised to ensure that it is kept in its rightful place.

We spend our lives dreaming of the white sandy beaches and beautiful turquoise waters that inspire journeys to exotic location’s, do not miss out on life changing experiences and exotic cultures just because you are unable to put your phone down to do so. Who knows what you will see when you look up from your phone and let the world in……..

Let me know what you think on the subject and leave me something in the comments section below.





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10 Responses

  1. Tucker says:

    I love this article because it sums up my belief that technology can work for us, rather than against. It is a relatively new belief, as I had held off updating to a new smart phone for years because I thought it would be a negative change in my life. But just as you point out, I have found all the benefits you mention now that I have a much more capable piece of modern technology at my disposal. Most importantly, I’ve been able to capture those moments of inspiration in order to share them with a network of people that, in our digital age, is no longer geographically restricted!

    • Richard says:

      Hi Tucker.

      It is a balancing act that requires constant vigilance. Weighing the pros and cons of any new piece of tech is a deeply personal topic that some find easier than others.

      Thanks for leaving a comment.


  2. Craig says:

    I love your first photo. A few years ago my wife and I visited the Mona Lisa in Paris and I found it hilarious how many people were blindly holding iPads above their head taking pictures. They couldn’t even see what they were taking a picture of. We saw the same in the Palace of Versaille, people walking down the Hall of mirrors with phones on record, they weren’t even looking, just recording. Ugh.

    At the same time though I’m happy I don’t have to lug a huge DSLR around anymore to take a decent photo, and as you mention offline downloads of Google maps have been a life saver for me in foreign countries. I hate getting lost when I can’t speak the language to ask directions.

    Have you tried out Google Translate in offline mode yet? It has also come in handy here and there for me.

    • Richard says:

      Hi Craig,

      I live in Germany and have used google translate often however never in the offline mode, something new to try out.

      I have had the same experience as you describe above where people loose the complete experience while trying to capture it. 

      Thanks for leaving a comment.


  3. Ngonidzashe Manzwangani says:

    I need to thank you for covering this topic, I wish it could reach the ears of many. The mobile age has come to many of us in both negative and positive way. Its true that many phone users are more concerned of capturing moments instead of living in the moment.

    Recently, in late November, I was involved in a car accident with my  friends when we were travelling from work. I was so angered to see a group of people who had suddenly surrounded the scene, I was not angered because there were so many people who had surrounded us but because instead of helping us putting us to safety and call ambulance and Police, they were busy capturing photos from different angles, it was really a bad experience for me 

    • Richard says:

      Im really sorry to hear about this experience but thank you for sharing. It is an epidemic in our modern age as like and shares seem to be the overall driving factor or people behavior.

      I am glad you enjoyed the post.


  4. Brenda says:

    It’s so nice that with today’s technology, there’s a chance to capture the special moments and treasure the wonderful memories. Discipline is important though as it is such turn off when people just mainly focus on thier smart phones and how many great pictures that they can take to post on social media.

    They are so caught up in social media posts and pages that they can’t even enjoy nature or just spend quality time with each other. There so much emphasis placed on how many comments, likes or followers people can get. 

    Personally I must say that I really enjoy nature, spending time interacting with friends and family without them having their phones in their hands and merely saying ‘ok’ or ‘yeah’ or ‘that’s true’. These day you can barely get a sentence from people because they are too busy on thier smart phones.

    I think all this only contributes to anxiety, depression and many other social issues that people face today. We need to enjoy moments with each other and live more.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Richard says:

      Thanks for sharing your personal experience. What you have described is that exact reason why this generation has never been more connected but felt more alone. Our connection to people and environment has never been this poor and this is a direct result of technology. It has its place but needs to be managed responsibly.


  5. Charmaine says:

    Great article Richard!!! This is one to remember, especially with the upcoming holiday season! Thanks for reminding us to “unplug”!

    • Richard says:

      Hi Charmaine,

      This topic has long been in discussion with a friend of mine and it definitely does well to bring it to peoples attention.

      Thanks for leaving a comment.

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