Social media – The good and the bad
You might have read my last blog post about how social media can open up a whole new world – whatever your age! If you’re interested in travel, social media can be a great way to get ideas and form impressions about thousands of destinations. Since finding my passion for sharing my love of Germany, I’ve become quite busy on social media. It’s a fantastic way to get inspired and to connect with other like-minded people. This new trend is called digital tourism – meaning you can now explore the world with just a touch of a finger.
It’s all about being social
I personally love the social networking aspect of these new communication platforms – which aren’t actually so new now! It all started at the end of the 90s with platforms like classmates.com, MySpace, Friendster – with LinkedIn and Facebook launching in 2003 and 2004.
Many of us know how to post pictures and videos – inviting friends (or the world) to share our holiday experiences. Depending on our settings, we can even keep our boards and posts secret. On many social media apps, we can chat, comment on pictures and videos or ask questions and share experiences. It’s even possible to plan our own special holiday experience.
Instagram, for instance, is a trending app with a growing community. More and more smartphone users love it as it’s a brilliant tool to see pictures and videos of holiday destinations around the world. Some Instagram pros take amazing pictures of places all over the world! It’s also a great communication channel to ask questions or comment on posts. If you’d like to get an idea on how Instagram works, just click here to watch a video.
Watch the YouTube space
YouTube is fast becoming the preferred search engine for generation Y as they start to move away from Google. Even my 8-year-old son asks me to click on a video when searching for something. On YouTube, there are some fabulous videos on all sorts of topics – including plenty on holidays. As with any other social media platform, you can create your own account to add videos and share your travel stories. If you’d like to learn how to create a YouTube account, click here.
The pros and cons of social media
Many people, particularly the older generation, tend to moan about how much time youngsters spend on their smartphones. In certain situations, I would totally agree. It’s important to respect other people in our social environment and it’s our responsibility to teach our children these rules and how to find the right balance between reality and the virtual world. We’ve all experienced perhaps being on a train when someone is watching their YouTube video far too loudly, having no respect for those around them or being in a restaurant where we notice a family who all have their eyes glued to their phones and aren’t actually talking to each other. For the younger generation (also known as the digital natives), these situations are quite normal for them. But do we really want this kind of behaviour to become the norm?
Being social online shouldn’t mean that we stop communicating in the real world. I really like the idea of having a digital detox time or to allocate device-free days during your holiday. A completely unplugged holiday might be hard for some but it’s also an interesting challenge for the family that comes with many benefits. After all, evidence has found that spending too much communicating in this virtual world often leads to a lack of social skills in the real world.
I hope I’ve managed to inspire you to take a look at some of my social media accounts and get some great ideas about holidaying in Germany. For me, life should be a healthy mix of modern technology with some good old-fashioned family activities thrown in for good measure. I love just going for a walk with the family (without any devices) or booking a holiday to a more unusual place like a treehouse to encourage some family-bonding. I’d love to know your take on modern technology, so feel free to add any comments!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. It would be wonderful if you’d like, follow and share so that I can reach out to as many people as possible who share my passion for Germany.
See you soon.