Wednesday, January 13, 2016

On a recent trip to Dalat (Highland areas in Southern Vietnam) I was struck by how all the other tourists around me were more concerned about getting the perfect photos than they were about actually enjoying where they were.  It's like the experience of seeing and doing stuff while travelling has been completely replaced by the obsession to catch pictures of everything.

Mind you, I say this as someone who was part of the problem.  I was just as obsessed as everyone else was with getting pictures.  (I took 151 photos of Dalat, all of which I immediately dumped onto Facebook as soon as I got back home to Saigon.)

It's a bit of a catch 22, because if you're so busy taking photos, you're not really there.  But if you don't take the photos, you have no record of being there.

I was debating jotting down a few thoughts about this phenomenon. But Uproxx.com has already published the perfect article on the whole thing

Is Instagram Ruining Backpacker Culture?

It's probably not a coincidence that he is pretty much exactly my age (only one year younger than me) because he shares the same concern I do that these 20 somethings are travelling around with smart phones and tablets that they are completely starring at.  
Man I totally noticed this during my last couple trips down to Kampot (a river resort town in Cambodia).  Everyone else at the resort was just starring at their ipads constantly.  And it really bugged me for some reason I'm not sure why.  (After all, what is it to me what they stare at in their free time?  It's nothing to do with me.)
 
I do, admittedly, have my own addiction to screens (both Internet and TV).  But I keep this addiction limited to my TV and computer at home, and don't bring my screens out on vacation with me.  I was reading a paperback book in Kampot, which made me feel slightly superior to everyone else who was starring at their ipads.  Although when it comes down to it, it's probably the same thing really and I'm just being an old man about it.  (There's no difference between reading a novel off of paper, and reading it on your ipad).

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