Does Online Sharing Diminish Real Life Experiences?


When we travel, we love to share our experiences. Whether via blog posts, tweets, Facebook status updates or photo sharing apps, broadcasting experiences – particularly those involving travel and food – has become as much a part of life as, well, life itself. But is that a good thing? Does constantly live-sharing experiences diminish the experiences themselves? Watching this video for the new Evernote Food app left me feeling a bit overwhelmed by social media.

Don’t get me wrong; I share photos of my meals and tweet about my travels as much, if not more, than the next guy. I’m guilty of this. But something about this video – and the app itself – has me feeling that we might have reached a tipping point in social media.

gadling food social media photographyWe already run the risk of seeing our trips through viewfinders rather than our own eyes. Now we seem to be sacrificing conversations and interaction with the people around us for popularity online. When meals are placed on tables across the world, servers are ignored, dining companions are told not to touch anything and smartphones emerge to document the food from all angles. Only after the appropriate number of glamour shots have been posted to Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and now, apparently, Food, can people actually, you know, eat.

At some point, we all need to remember that the urge to document and share our experiences is born from the fact that the experiences are enjoyable to us first. In order for our online social networks to live vicariously through us, we first need to do some living. If you’re only doing activities for the stories or clout (or worse, Klout), are you really doing anything at all?

So, maybe we should put down the smartphones and cameras for a bit, take a break from sharing everything online and enjoy the company of the people sitting right next to us. Savor ours meal for our own sake. If we don’t, it’s a slippery slope to this becoming a reality:

Let’s create memories that live more vividly and richly in our minds than they ever could in a status update. Life was in HD long before our cameras were.

Photo by Flickr user adactio.

Best Tumblr Travel Blogs to Follow

Everything changed for me when I discovered Tumblr. It was a little over a year ago. I found myself perusing blog after blog, following them, and finding myself fascinated with my own little dashboard each day. Like a mix between Twitter and Google Reader, I’d found my favorite place to hole up on the internet and it was customized specifically for me. In no time, I found myself inspired enough by the Tumblr community to hurl myself into a project for 2010–a project that involved me releasing 52 songs throughout the year; one per week.

Now that the obsessive project has come to an end… I still love Tumblr. And of all Tumblr blogs I look forward to checking in with each time I get a chance, including those featuring brooding vintage fashion models, the Tumblr Travel blogs are conclusively my favorite. If you’re into travel, namely brilliant travel photos and engaging travel stories, you’ll addict yourself to Tumblr. My favorite travel blogs are always changing–it’s easy to discover new sources of inspiration on Tumblr. But here’s my current top 5 (in the order they come to mind).

1. Landscape, Lifescape
Best for: jaw-dropping photos that’ll make you want to go everywhere and see everything.

2. Three Guys Heading West
Best for: from-the-road pictures brought to you by, you guessed it, three guys heading west.

3. Wiseash
Best for: NYC moments captured as they happen.

4. Tiny World
Best for: Cool videos highlighting cities across the globe.

5. The World We Live In
Best for: Beautiful and emotionally-charged photos from all over.

[photo by Elizabeth Seward]