You probably know all about the dangers of posting vacation pictures while you’re still out of town. To sum it up, posting those pics can alert those ‘friends of a friend’ you have on social media that you’re away and that now would be a good time for a break-in.
But there’s actually another reason why you shouldn’t post photos during your vacation…only it’s a bit less tangible.
Read more: 13 things a burglar won’t tell you
FOMO turns into JOMO for one young traveler
Maybe you’re heard of the FOMO factor — an acronym for ‘fear of missing out’ — that keeps people glued to their phones and social media accounts waiting for the next big thing when they should otherwise be unplugged and enjoying life.
Well, there’s also an opposite phenomenon called JOMO — the joy of missing out. That’s what writer Emma Orlando discovered on a spontaneous trip to Croatia.
She argues that posting pictures while you’re on vacation can take you out of the moment and make you less present than just about any other activity.
When Emma arrived in Croatia, she made it a point to do something outside of her comfort zone: Turn off all social media and all notifications.
Almost immediately, she describes feeling a sense of peace. Here’s what she wrote for EliteDaily.com:
‘My mornings were no longer spent scrolling through my news feed, desperately trying to catch up on the six hours of other people’s lives I had missed. They were spent waking up gradually, with a good book and a breakfast that was as mindful as it was filling.’
‘My days didn’t focus on how all of my friends were spending theirs. I had no concept of time, and every moment was spent exactly how I wanted it to be in that instant. My evenings didn’t have the added task of trying to get the best shot for my Instagram. They were filled with deep, meaningful conversations accompanied by zero distractions.’
Just another day in paradise, right? But Emma knew it couldn’t last too long. So she reconnected when got back home — and faced an immediate struggle.
‘Being home means I can’t avoid social media,’ she noted. ‘I don’t have the time difference and data roaming charges to hide behind. I have, however, felt a greater detachment from it than I ever have before.’
After her weeklong experiment in social media deprivation, she now finds it easier to live in the moment.
‘I’ve realized how lovely it is to live a life that’s just for you. I’ve finally balanced out what to share and what I want to experience all on my own.’
So even though she’s reconnected, her trip was transformative and made her a happier person. And isn’t that what good travel is all about?
Read more: Clark’s #1 rule of cheap travel
7 ways to safeguard your home while you’re on vacation
Emma’s words make a strong case for unplugging during vacation. But some folks simply can’t help themselves!
If you know you’re going to post pictures or otherwise engage on social media during vacation, consider the following tips to help safeguard your home while you’re away.
1. Get automatic timers. These will pop your lights on and off at the appropriate times of day, deterring criminals and saving electricity at the same time.
2. Suspend delivery of mail and newspapers. You can also either have a friend or relative collect your mail while you’re away, or you can put in a temporary stop at your local post office.
3. Make sure the doors to your home and car are locked. People let their guard down in this respect too often as the weather warms up. You don’t want a crook to just help him or herself to your property.
4. Consider a DIY alarm system. Before you head out of town, take a look at SimpliSafe.com. Prices start at just $15 a month for monitoring on simple burglar alarm systems you install yourself. No technical know how is necessary! Read an extensive review of the service here.
5. Don’t forget about the basics of home security. This article about 13 things a burglar won’t tell you has some sobering reminders about the simple things we do that inadvertently invite burglars into our homes.
6. Change your lock before you go. The locks on your doors are what keep the bad guys out. Consumer Reports recently surveyed nearly two dozen popular locks on the market. A trio of reasonably priced locks got the ‘recommended buy’ mark from the magazine, including the Kwikset 980 ($30), the Baldwin Prestige 380 ($40) and the Falcon D241 ($55). More details here.
7. Get an easy-to-install security camera. The Arlo is a wireless camera system for indoor or outdoor use. And get this: It requires no electrical hookup! It uses lithium batteries instead, just like electric cars do. That makes installation a breeze, not to mention re-installation…if you want to move the cameras around on a whim. With prices starting at $179, these things aren’t exactly cheap…but they could be well worth it.
Read more: How to shop for home security systems