Travel to perfection

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Taking my kind of 'selfie' at Hurst Castle.

Taking my kind of ‘selfie’ at Hurst Castle.

Packing for my holiday next week; I mustn’t forget my camera, sunscreen, a good book and a professional photographer. Um … what?! Yes, crazy as it sounds, people are now buying a holiday package which includes a photographer who will take perfect social media friendly snaps of you in exotic places, just being all casual and having perfectly composed fun.

I’m greatly puzzled by this development. Have people become so self-obsessed that they now feel the need to have a photographer follow them around on holiday and take suitable shots of them ‘experiencing life’? What happened to the slightly rubbish pictures your mum and dad used to take, in which you’d bound to be missing the top of your head? Why does everything have to be so polished and photo-shopped to death nowadays? Also, I like to take photos of what I see and what interests me. I might get my travelling companion to take a couple of cheesy shots of me standing with a silly grin on my face somewhere well-know, but apart from that, I don’t want lots of pictures of myself, I want images of what I saw and experienced in that place.

It seems that some individuals are losing the ability to just enjoy life without having to record every single thing they do. Has existence now come to mean how present you are online, as opposed to how present you are in your life?

There’s obviously nothing intrinsically wrong with sharing your holiday snaps on Facebook etc. but to go to the lengths of hiring someone to manufacture your image to such an extent online, seems to be an f-stop too far.

What do you think? Would you like someone to make your holiday into a photoshoot? Let me know.

Here’s a link to the article which inspired this post:

http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/aug/27/instagram-professional-holiday-photographer-hire-trend

Social Media Holiday Week 2

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I was woken up by an alarm this morning.  Not my phone alarm, a fire alarm, or a car outside, but a bird.  A Great Tit to be precise, which was so loud I had to wonder if he/she wasn’t sat on my window sill.  I am very lucky to have a small, but sunny flat which looks out onto a garden surrounded by trees in which numerous birds live and sing every day.  My only regret is I don’t own the flat, like an increasing number of people in the UK, I rent.  Yet, I’m certainly lucky to have this little home and to write with nature’s inspiration as my backdrop.  It’s a fairly sunny morning, and there’s a slight breeze rustling the returning leaves and I’m enjoying not having to get up and rush off anywhere.

So, my second week on holiday from social media has been very busy; work obviously, but also writing, and lots of it.  For the first time, thanks to Writing 101, I’ve blogged every day, I’ve written every evening for a whole week.  I wouldn’t have had time for social media too, even if I had wanted to, and I haven’t missed it.  However, it is a necessary tool for writers and artists nowadays as a way to promote themselves and get their work and name out there for others to see.  So, I will return to it at the end of the month, hopefully with renewed enthusiasm and ideas as a result of all the writing I’m doing this month.

It’s often a point of discussion among writers as to how useful social media is, and whether it is a help or hindrance, distracting us from actually writing.  What do you think?  Do you feel you spend too long on social media, or does it fuel your imagination and offer a community to gain support and encouragement from?  Let me know. 

Social Media Holiday

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Last night’s WWF Earth Hour gave me a dilemma; do I watch a film or meditate by candle light for the no-lights hour?  I opted for the latter in the end, and gave myself some much needed Reiki healing too, after a tough week at work.  Yet my decision was also based on the need to have some time away from a screen.  Although I love films, I just wanted a break from watching or looking at a screen.  Increasingly lately I have been making a conscious effort to have an evening of ‘no-screen’ to listen to music, read, write and generally potter about.  It’s incredibly freeing and I feel much happier for it.  To retreat from the pull of the stimulus is a relief, where I can just be for a while.  So, with that in mind I’ve decided to take a holiday from social media for a month, and see how much more I get done, and what I do instead of scrolling through a news feed.  I’ll report back each week on my progress and see what the effects are of reconnecting with other activities and people in my life more, and disconnecting from the distractions.