I didn’t take pics, but it did happen- traveling without social media.

A few days before I flew to NYC for a quick trip with my family, I decided to remove social media from my phone. No Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook- nothin’. I took a 3 week class in May where one of our assignments was a social media challenge that required us to either connect or disconnect from social media depending on what our current relationship with it was. Obviously, I opted to disconnect. Two and a half weeks of May I was completely off of any social app I had on my phone prior. I couldn’t see what my friends were doing on Snapchat 24/7, I didn’t take photos for the sole purpose of posting them on Instagram, my life was social media less- and it was refreshing.

I’m sure everyone is aware of my love for social media. I love posting Instagram stories of my breakfast or taking boomerangs with friends at dinner. However, as much as I benefit from it, I find myself equally suffering. I can get totally distracted from completing tasks or being productive by mindlessly scrolling through Instagram. I can set myself back by constantly wondering what someone is doing and stalking their socials. I can get major FOMO from seeing my friends Snapchat stories which is totally ridiculous. It can make me feel small, overwhelmed, lazy, and at times, like nothing I do is good enough. So I decided to take a break again. Get my mind in a good place by staying off of it for a couple days while I traveled. 

Traveling is one of my favorite things to document; I love posting stories at a cute cafe or of bomb food I’m enjoying. However, traveling is a whole other experience when you don’t have social media to document your entire trip. Like anything when there lacks a serious distraction, you're able to soak up the experience a lot more. In a huge city bombarded with billboards, people, cars, and advertisements, I found myself noticing the little things. Like people walking into their apartment complexes late at night with bags of takeout, business men and women riding skateboards and hover-boards to work at 7 am, and the random art murals that trickle through the city on side streets and corner walls. I also found that not only do you notice more on your travels without a distraction like social media, but you also focus on the people you're traveling with more. Without social media, the communication I would have with friends over Snapchat while they were in a different state or the few people who would reply to my stories on
Instagram was eliminated. Not that I don't love being able to communicate with people over social media, but it's nice to kind of take a break from outside communication and really enjoy the presence of the people in your here and now. After all, they are the ones traveling with you, taking in the city as you are, and creating similar, but unique memories of your trip like you. Lastly, when you're not publishing your whereabouts, people don't know where you are. Which is surprisingly freeing. I have many friends who live close to or in the city and because I was only there for about 2 days, I didn't have time to meet up with all of them. So, not posting my location on social media allowed me to do my thing without getting texts from people asking to meet up and catch up! Don't get me wrong, if I was there longer I absolutely would've wanted to see my NY friends, but that wasn't the case and not having everyone know where I was made the situation easier!

All of that being said, I still took photos. Because I am still, ~Just Mands~ & will post all of my NYC photos down below. In closing, I want to remind you guys how nice it is to take a break sometimes. Social media is not real life. And even though it sounds crazy, it's easy to let your real life blur with social media. It can seriously be a double edged sword. Some days it can be super inspiring and a positive influence, other times it can be incredibly damaging to your mental health. I cannot stress enough how important it is to become aware of how it makes you feel and to do something about it depending on your relationship with it. And next time you travel, I urge you to try and disconnect. Enjoy each moment as it's happening without pausing to snap an insta photo or post a story. I promise, no one will notice the lack of it, nor will they care. Unless you're a Kardashian/Jenner or Hailey Baldwin. And that's just the harsh truth of it, lol. ANYWAYS, sorry for getting super lecturey and basically taking a shit on social media. I still love it and will continue to use it, I just want to make people aware of the downside of it :) Okay, I'm going to shut up now. Here are some kewl photos from my trip to NYC.