Unplug Your Next Adventure
By Tyler Scruggs
Photo: Mark Morin (@Markmorinii)
To put it gently, I’m very active on social media. In all my writing, in virtually everything I do, there is a thick and gratuitous layer of millennial slime that makes every significant action in my life publishable, sharable, and marketable. My partner, @Markmornii, is too. It’s not the best habit in the world, I know, but it’s a structure that’s effective. Social media is fun, social media is powerful, but it’s more than a little easy to get exhausted. You’re constantly keeping up with your Snapchat, Instagram, Messenger, Twitter, Facebook, Scruff, Grindr, rinse, repeat. And ironically, vacation time and moments previously reserved for the calm and peaceful can be hijacked by our pocket digital hype men.
This fatigue was definitely felt by my partner and me in our travels last December. Not only was it a lot of travel — Florida to Georgia, back to Florida, then to Arizona, then a small reprieve before our trip to Hawaii over the span of just a couple weeks. To some, it sounds like a paradise, but to us, the young millennial socialites we are, we got very tired, very quickly.
Fast forward to January, where we booked a week-long trip to Kauai — Hawaii’s smallest and least-gay island — and although we had a camera by our side during the trip, we managed to carve out time where there was no service, no social media, and recommit ourselves not our to having a relaxing trip, but recommit ourselves to each other, and remember who and what matters.
A whole week on Kauai may seem excessive, or even boring to some, but not to us. It was ideal to find an island that we could cover the entirety of on our trip. After countless poke bowls and trips up and down the main road that encompasses the island, despite only 10% of it accessible by car.
Getting away from the club scene, and the obsession with hitting every gay bar and landmark in the city that normally eclipses our trip, we managed to find solace in the island vibe. As important as they can be back home, they were second to the peaceful spirit that can come over you once the city bustle washes away.
One piece of cool tech — and this isn’t a paid plug at all — are the new 4G Apple Watches that can help you be reached via text or call while leaving behind your phone at home. The service was shoddy anyhow. But only having a digital camera and a communicator on your wrist is not only high-tech, but it can also help you feel incredibly low-tech and disconnected in the best way.
I have an anxious hand over my phone at virtually all times. Between 2018 News Alerts and Grindr Taps, my phone stays pretty busy and I don’t need a clinical study to confirm that those kinds of constant distractions are bad for my health. Next vacation, consider minimizing your phone usage or eliminate the possibility altogether. Head to a thrift store and get yourself a burner dumb phone and take that on your trip. Sure, you won’t be able to Facebook Live your feet in the sand at the beach, but if it’s important, you can bring a dedicated camera, or shoot a vlog.
Of course, it’s entirely up to you how you spend your weekend or week-long getaway. Vacations should be just that — vacancies from life to do something else. If you’re not normally a social-sharer and want to live-it-up as the social media queen that you are, by all means! Go for it! But for many of us who spend our lives working in or dealing with social media constantly, and the hamster wheel it can be, it’s best to take a reprieve from the digital world and reorient yourself back into the things you’re most interested and passionate in.