Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
flyingaway
Posts: 1933
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Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Post by flyingaway » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:19 pm

Texanbybirth wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:34 am
(1) Love it. I enjoy discovering new places, or making new memories in places I've been to before, with my wife and kids. Mainly my wife, as she'll always be with me even when the kids are grown and gone. :happy I can't remember ever having a disappointing trip with her/them, and I think it's mainly about the mindset/personality/psychology you come into traveling with.
(2) I have no social media, unless you count BH as social media, and I don't see how it would enhance my experience.
(3) Yes, and especially when we talk about places we've been with people who have also been there.
(4) I'm more of a go-with-the-flow guy, but my wife likes to plan. We've come to a really good spot in our marriage where there's a balance.
(5) I wish, but no. I'm secretly slightly jealous of the travel bloggers, but I think I'd get tired of constantly thinking "should I be videoing/picturing this so I can put it to my blog?" vs just taking in an experience.

I'll probably never exhaust the treasure trove of history that is Europe, especially with my keen interest in European History, so the part about the experience becoming history and memory doesn't bother me. I like to take the time to insert myself into that history, even if only imaginatively. We (my wife) make photo books of our trips that are super-fun to look at for me.
I also do most of the travels with my wife, especially to Europe. Sometimes she goes with her friends for trips in the U.S. Sometimes I do some travels on my own (to mostly third-world countries).

Thesaints
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Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Post by Thesaints » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:21 pm

Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?
I'm subscribed to all of the Kardashians' accounts, to make sure we never end up in the same place.

Finridge
Posts: 509
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 7:27 pm

Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Post by Finridge » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:47 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:53 pm
GoldStar wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:48 pm
VictoriaF wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:31 pm

I don't consider it old-school. I consider it experience.
I suppose the way you travel might be different than mine - but you might also start to find the world changing around you to make it more and more difficult to travel without a smart-phone. Many changes have already started to occur as folks are expected to have / or typically have / their own phones with them with a myriad of Apps to make plans. etc. A few examples:
- Years ago the "Concierge Lounge" in hotels like Marriott actually had a Concierge in them. It was some one you could work with on your itinerary and plans. Now they simply have folks serving the food. Some hotels still have Concierge desks downstairs somewhere but they are quickly fading away.
- Years ago there were these things called "pay phones" that you could make phone calls from when traveling and having to call an airline to make a change or something. They are quickly being removed from existence.
- You mention the hotel shuttles that run from the airports to some hotels. Many of these run on a schedule but some request you call them when you land so they can promptly get you. Its hard to do this without a phone. I remember years ago there were banks of "Courtesy" phones that would automatically connect you to nearby hotels, etc. These have all been removed (at least from the cities I frequent).

I'm sure you have workarounds to these and many more items. But you eventually might find it easier to have a smartphone for convenience (still avoiding any social networking on it) than not.
Workarounds are fun. Workarounds are problem solving. Getting in trouble makes good stories. And no, I decidedly do not want to make it easier. When the absence of a smart phone makes things harder, it creates new challenges -- and I feel happy when I concur challenges.

It's too late for me to become an Africa explorer or an elephant tamer. Smartphone-less life is my last resort, and thankfully it becomes more interesting.

Victoria

Victoria, That's that's interesting. I'm currently reading "Antifragile" by Nicholas Taleb. This is my first Taleb book, and it was some of your posts that motivated me to finally get around to reading one of his works. (Thanks for that!)

I was a late-adopter to smart phones--gone one long after everyone I knew had one. Heck, the guy who goes around on his bike looting aluminum cans from the recycling bins in our neighborhood every week in advance of the garbage truck--he had a smartphone before I did!

Applying some of Taleb's framework: Compared to a flip phone, a smartphone provides exponentially more "optionality." And it really is optionality--you can make as much or as little use of it as you want--using the increased optionality on an as-needed basis. I'd also say that the smartphone is "convex" while the flip phone is "concave." One of the benefits afforded by this optionality, is being able to read Taleb's book on my phone when I'm stuck anywhere... :D

Not trying to change your mind... just having fun applying Taleb's framework... :sharebeer

bdaniel58
Posts: 48
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Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Post by bdaniel58 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:44 am

frugalmama wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:59 am
bdaniel58 wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:20 pm

I am a photo nut also and my blogs allow me to share my photos. We travel for the journey and experience, not the destination.
What a great story about the camera! You guys look like you like to travel similar to us. While I am pretty private myself, I love reading other people's blogs so I have bookmarked yours to read later when I have more time. I think you hit the nail on the head...we travel for the journey and experience. There have been times that we go to places we never even knew about prior to us leaving on the trip and we often don't end up going to places we originally planned to go (or we go for a much shorter time). Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for the kind comments. When we travel, the only thing set in stone is the date I have to return to work. We have a rough idea of places we want to go, but every day is an adventure and we just go where our interests take us. At a fork in the road, we take the smaller road. We travel in a 5th wheel RV. We almost never make reservations at campgrounds. With a generator and plenty of fresh water capacity we are self contained for several days. So we often just overnight in WalMart parking lots.

We truly love the journey and the people we meet along the way. Staying in one place for a week would be boring to us.

Last fall we took a 3 week trip in October and loved it. We planned to spend 3 days in Death Valley but with the smoke from the fires we just spend 1 night and spent more time in other places. Yellowstone was a hoot because everything was shutting down while we were there. It was like a party atmosphere everywhere. Everyone was taking off for a month before the winter season.

https://bobbystuff.com/blog/443/travel, ... b-category

I can't wait to FIRE so I can take a trip across country with no expiration date (no date when I have to return to work) <grin>

Bobby
www.bobbystuff.com

2015
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Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Post by 2015 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:41 am

GoldStar wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:16 pm
2015 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:57 pm
I have been strongly impacted by Cal Newport's work and hence do not participate in social media of any sort. I subscribe to Newport's deep work hypothesis, attention capital theory, and digital minimalism construct (these concepts are explained briefly in the link below). This has had an immensely positive impact on the quality of my life. I am looking forward to his forthcoming books.

http://calnewport.com/about/
Cal Newport says he has never participated on social media but he has a blog on which he allows folks to respond with comments. Some never-social-media purists would classify this as social media. :wink:

Also - I consider this site social-media. Are we not responding to eachother in a social way? I would argue you are participating in social media right now.
Just because you get your social media fix anonymously doesn't mean you aren't getting it. :happy
Well we could square dance all over the head of a social media definition pin, but let's just say there are forms of social media that add to your ability to be efficient, effective, and to reach your individual potential, and other forms that are not. Read Irrisistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and The Business of Keeping Us Hooked as well as What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains. Did you know that Steve Jobs was quite restrictive with respect to his children's use of technology, as was Bill Gates? Pushers never get high on their own supply.

I would argue you are quite right that I personally spend entirely too much unproductive time posting in this form of social media, which is something I've been working on changing. OTOH, some of my best insights have come from people with opposing viewpoints who have challenged me. Posting a pic of my burger, now matter how lovely, on the internet, is simply not going to add that degree of value. Unless I wasn't interested in using my mind, of course.

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GoldStar
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Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Post by GoldStar » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:48 am

2015 wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:41 am
GoldStar wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:16 pm
2015 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:57 pm
I have been strongly impacted by Cal Newport's work and hence do not participate in social media of any sort. I subscribe to Newport's deep work hypothesis, attention capital theory, and digital minimalism construct (these concepts are explained briefly in the link below). This has had an immensely positive impact on the quality of my life. I am looking forward to his forthcoming books.

http://calnewport.com/about/
Cal Newport says he has never participated on social media but he has a blog on which he allows folks to respond with comments. Some never-social-media purists would classify this as social media. :wink:

Also - I consider this site social-media. Are we not responding to eachother in a social way? I would argue you are participating in social media right now.
Just because you get your social media fix anonymously doesn't mean you aren't getting it. :happy
Well we could square dance all over the head of a social media definition pin, but let's just say there are forms of social media that add to your ability to be efficient, effective, and to reach your individual potential, and other forms that are not. Read Irrisistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and The Business of Keeping Us Hooked as well as What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains. Did you know that Steve Jobs was quite restrictive with respect to his children's use of technology, as was Bill Gates? Pushers never get high on their own supply.

I would argue you are quite right that I personally spend entirely too much unproductive time posting in this form of social media, which is something I've been working on changing. OTOH, some of my best insights have come from people with opposing viewpoints who have challenged me. Posting a pic of my burger, now matter how lovely, on the internet, is simply not going to add that degree of value. Unless I wasn't interested in using my mind, of course.
Understood. I hope you didn't take me too seriously.

I found the OPs questions a bit intriguing. Hoping you will enjoy travel more if you engage in Social Media? It was nice to see Victoria coming in with an extreme alternative view (traveling with no electronics whatsoever).
I wonder how many millennial travel these days simply due to social-media peer pressure. There was the study (cited above) that states that social-media influences where folks are now traveling to.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:56 am

2015 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:57 pm
I have been strongly impacted by Cal Newport's work and hence do not participate in social media of any sort. I subscribe to Newport's deep work hypothesis, attention capital theory, and digital minimalism construct (these concepts are explained briefly in the link below). This has had an immensely positive impact on the quality of my life. I am looking forward to his forthcoming books.

http://calnewport.com/about/
Yikes! I am retired, and I find these ideas to be abhorrent. If I followed them, my quality of life would diminish.

flyingaway
Posts: 1933
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Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Post by flyingaway » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:01 am

GoldStar wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:48 am
Understood. I hope you didn't take me too seriously.

I found the OPs questions a bit intriguing. Hoping you will enjoy travel more if you engage in Social Media? It was nice to see Victoria coming in with an extreme alternative view (traveling with no electronics whatsoever).
I wonder how many millennial travel these days simply due to social-media peer pressure. There was the study (cited above) that states that social-media influences where folks are now traveling to.
I think social media does make my travel more meaningful. I do not post pictures publically, just to my family and friend circle, in an instant message fashion.
What I am looking for is the opinions about more public and more long-term storage of travel pictures. I have never posted a picture with me or my travel partners, just pictures about where I go, see, eat, and drink. Interacting with friends during travels does mitigate the loneliness of solo travels (sometimes).

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VictoriaF
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Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:24 am

Finridge wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:47 am
VictoriaF wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:53 pm
Workarounds are fun. Workarounds are problem solving. Getting in trouble makes good stories. And no, I decidedly do not want to make it easier. When the absence of a smart phone makes things harder, it creates new challenges -- and I feel happy when I concur challenges.

It's too late for me to become an Africa explorer or an elephant tamer. Smartphone-less life is my last resort, and thankfully it becomes more interesting.

Victoria

Victoria, That's that's interesting. I'm currently reading "Antifragile" by Nicholas Taleb. This is my first Taleb book, and it was some of your posts that motivated me to finally get around to reading one of his works. (Thanks for that!)

I was a late-adopter to smart phones--gone one long after everyone I knew had one. Heck, the guy who goes around on his bike looting aluminum cans from the recycling bins in our neighborhood every week in advance of the garbage truck--he had a smartphone before I did!

Applying some of Taleb's framework: Compared to a flip phone, a smartphone provides exponentially more "optionality." And it really is optionality--you can make as much or as little use of it as you want--using the increased optionality on an as-needed basis. I'd also say that the smartphone is "convex" while the flip phone is "concave." One of the benefits afforded by this optionality, is being able to read Taleb's book on my phone when I'm stuck anywhere... :D

Not trying to change your mind... just having fun applying Taleb's framework... :sharebeer
Finridge,

Taleb wrote Antifragile in 2012 before the smartphone epidemic. He does not mention smartphones explicitly but it is clear that they are fragilizers. Here are some relevant quotes from Antifragile:
Taleb on p.19 wrote:Man-made complex systems tend to develop cascades and runaway chains of reactions that decrease, even eliminate, predictability and cause outsized events. So the modern world may be increasing in technological knowledge, but, paradoxically, it is making things a lot more unpredictable. Now for reasons that have to do with the increase of the artificial, the move away from ancestral and natural models, and the loss in robustness owing to complications in the design of everything, the role of Black Swans in increasing. Further, we are victims to a new disease, called in this book neomania, that makes us build Black Swan–vulnerable systems—“progress.”
VictoriaF: Smartphones are a perfect example of neomania and the epitome of a complex system with cascading outsized effects and vulnerability to Black Swans.


Taleb on p.70 wrote:touristification ... is the systematic removal of uncertainty and randomness from things, trying to make matters highly predictable in their smallest details. All that for the sake of comfort, convenience, and efficiency.
...
The guilty parties are ... the electronic calendar.
VictoriaF: Smartphonification is touristification at its worst. You remove the uncertainty of transportation, lodging, and meals. You reduce daily variations in randomness by reading hotel and restaurant reviews and knowing where Uber will pick you up. But, by the laws of antifragility, you set yourself up for a big blow up, when your phone becomes nonfunctional at a bad time in a wrong place.

If in 2012 electronic calendars were automatic weapons of touristification, the 2018 smartphones are cluster bombs.

Note: I have just invented a new word, Smartphonification.


Taleb on p.150 wrote:Nero enjoyed taking long walks in old cities, without a map. He used the following method to detouristify his traveling: he tried to inject some randomness into his schedule by never deciding on the next destination until he had spent some time in the first one, driving his travel agent crazy—when he was in Zagreb, his next destination would be determined by his state of mind while in Zagreb.
VictoriaF: Nero would never retouristify by removing randomness from his schedule.


Taleb on pp.309-311 wrote:Lindy effect: For the perishable, every additional day in its life translates into a shorter additional life expectancy. For the nonperishable, every additional day may imply a longer life expectancy.
...
If a book has been in print for forty years, I can expect it to be in print for another forty years. But, and that is the main difference, if it survives another decade, then it will be expected to be in print another fifty years.
...
Two mistakes are commonly made when I present this idea—people have difficulties grasping probabilistic notions, particularly when they have spent too much time on the Internet (not that they need the Internet to be confused; we are naturally probability-challenged). The first mistake is usually in the form of the presentation of the counterexample of a technology that we currently see as inefficient and dying, like, say, telephone land lines, print newspapers, and cabinets containing paper receipts for tax purposes. These arguments come with anger as many neomaniacs get offended by my point. But my argument is not about every technology, but about life expectancy, which is simply a probabilistically derived average.
...'
The second mistake is to believe that one would be acting “young” by adopting a “young” technology, revealing both a logical error and mental bias. This mistake has been made by many people, but most recently I saw an angry “futuristic” consultant who accuses people who don’t jump into technology of “thinking old” (he is actually older than I am and, like most technomaniacs I know, looks sickly and pear-shaped and has an undefined transition between his jaw and his neck).
...
But it is precisely the young who propose ideas that are fragile, not because they are young, but because most unseasoned ideas are fragile. And, of course, someone who sells “futuristic” ideas will not make a lot of money selling the value of the past! New technology is easier to hype up.
VictoriaF: I too observe many aging people who try to act young not by exercising their body, mind, and the sense of uncertainty but by constantly staring into a small screen, typing without capitals and punctuation, and complaining when their Uber driver arrives a few minutes late.



Finridge,

Thank you for bringing up Taleb. May I suggest that you reread Antifragile and notice Taleb's criticism of touristification and neomania, which are now epitomized in smartphones.

Cheers,
Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

TN_Boy
Posts: 570
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Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Post by TN_Boy » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:24 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:26 am
During the first three years in retirement, I traveled the average of 120 days/year.
In 2018, I will have just over 70 days. In 2019, I will go over 120 days because I will go again to el Camino de Santiago.

When I travel in the U.S., I sometimes bring my cell phone (plain cell phone, NOT a smart phone) if I need to make travel arrangements that were not possible ahead of time (e.g., receive a call from an airport shuttle company). When I travel internationally, I never bring a phone, computer, camera, or any other electronics.

When I travel, sometimes two months at a time, I don't keep in touch with anybody via social media or otherwise. I don't take pictures. This results in a pure travel experience where I live in the moment. I do carry thick notebooks and take a lot of notes by hand. The notes are partly travel observations and mostly interesting ideas that occur when I am on the move.

Obviously, I consider my mode of travel superior to those with electronics, social media, and picture taking.

Victoria
Well, your mode of travel may be ideal for you, but it is not necessarily "superior" in the general sense. There is certainly no harm in taking pictures. I remember just fine parts of the trip when I had a camera in hand, though I do understand your point.

And no phone, well again I understand where you are coming from. But sometimes it is enormously useful to have a smartphone. Not everyone that has a smartphone spends all their time posting on social media.

2015
Posts: 2187
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:32 pm

Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Post by 2015 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:13 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:56 am
2015 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:57 pm
I have been strongly impacted by Cal Newport's work and hence do not participate in social media of any sort. I subscribe to Newport's deep work hypothesis, attention capital theory, and digital minimalism construct (these concepts are explained briefly in the link below). This has had an immensely positive impact on the quality of my life. I am looking forward to his forthcoming books.

http://calnewport.com/about/
Yikes! I am retired, and I find these ideas to be abhorrent. If I followed them, my quality of life would diminish.
To the contrary, these "ideas" have been most helpful in support of my pursuing the "Wildly Important Idea" (another Cal Newport construct) of making this final phase of my life during retirement the most financially, materially, emotionally and psychologically fulfilling time of my life. Void of a True North, many retirees either flounder or let the river of life float them along a succession of passing days. As singer Bob Dylan once said, "if you ain't busy living, you're busy dying." That's not how I've ever lived and certainly not how I intend the precious remainder of my life. My Wildly Important Idea has been influenced by many, from Seneca, to Krishnamurti, to Aristotle.

2015
Posts: 2187
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:32 pm

Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Post by 2015 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:17 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:24 am
Finridge wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:47 am
VictoriaF wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:53 pm
Workarounds are fun. Workarounds are problem solving. Getting in trouble makes good stories. And no, I decidedly do not want to make it easier. When the absence of a smart phone makes things harder, it creates new challenges -- and I feel happy when I concur challenges.

It's too late for me to become an Africa explorer or an elephant tamer. Smartphone-less life is my last resort, and thankfully it becomes more interesting.

Victoria

Victoria, That's that's interesting. I'm currently reading "Antifragile" by Nicholas Taleb. This is my first Taleb book, and it was some of your posts that motivated me to finally get around to reading one of his works. (Thanks for that!)

I was a late-adopter to smart phones--gone one long after everyone I knew had one. Heck, the guy who goes around on his bike looting aluminum cans from the recycling bins in our neighborhood every week in advance of the garbage truck--he had a smartphone before I did!

Applying some of Taleb's framework: Compared to a flip phone, a smartphone provides exponentially more "optionality." And it really is optionality--you can make as much or as little use of it as you want--using the increased optionality on an as-needed basis. I'd also say that the smartphone is "convex" while the flip phone is "concave." One of the benefits afforded by this optionality, is being able to read Taleb's book on my phone when I'm stuck anywhere... :D

Not trying to change your mind... just having fun applying Taleb's framework... :sharebeer
Finridge,

Taleb wrote Antifragile in 2012 before the smartphone epidemic. He does not mention smartphones explicitly but it is clear that they are fragilizers. Here are some relevant quotes from Antifragile:
Taleb on p.19 wrote:Man-made complex systems tend to develop cascades and runaway chains of reactions that decrease, even eliminate, predictability and cause outsized events. So the modern world may be increasing in technological knowledge, but, paradoxically, it is making things a lot more unpredictable. Now for reasons that have to do with the increase of the artificial, the move away from ancestral and natural models, and the loss in robustness owing to complications in the design of everything, the role of Black Swans in increasing. Further, we are victims to a new disease, called in this book neomania, that makes us build Black Swan–vulnerable systems—“progress.”
VictoriaF: Smartphones are a perfect example of neomania and the epitome of a complex system with cascading outsized effects and vulnerability to Black Swans.


Taleb on p.70 wrote:touristification ... is the systematic removal of uncertainty and randomness from things, trying to make matters highly predictable in their smallest details. All that for the sake of comfort, convenience, and efficiency.
...
The guilty parties are ... the electronic calendar.
VictoriaF: Smartphonification is touristification at its worst. You remove the uncertainty of transportation, lodging, and meals. You reduce daily variations in randomness by reading hotel and restaurant reviews and knowing where Uber will pick you up. But, by the laws of antifragility, you set yourself up for a big blow up, when your phone becomes nonfunctional at a bad time in a wrong place.

If in 2012 electronic calendars were automatic weapons of touristification, the 2018 smartphones are cluster bombs.

Note: I have just invented a new word, Smartphonification.


Taleb on p.150 wrote:Nero enjoyed taking long walks in old cities, without a map. He used the following method to detouristify his traveling: he tried to inject some randomness into his schedule by never deciding on the next destination until he had spent some time in the first one, driving his travel agent crazy—when he was in Zagreb, his next destination would be determined by his state of mind while in Zagreb.
VictoriaF: Nero would never retouristify by removing randomness from his schedule.


Taleb on pp.309-311 wrote:Lindy effect: For the perishable, every additional day in its life translates into a shorter additional life expectancy. For the nonperishable, every additional day may imply a longer life expectancy.
...
If a book has been in print for forty years, I can expect it to be in print for another forty years. But, and that is the main difference, if it survives another decade, then it will be expected to be in print another fifty years.
...
Two mistakes are commonly made when I present this idea—people have difficulties grasping probabilistic notions, particularly when they have spent too much time on the Internet (not that they need the Internet to be confused; we are naturally probability-challenged). The first mistake is usually in the form of the presentation of the counterexample of a technology that we currently see as inefficient and dying, like, say, telephone land lines, print newspapers, and cabinets containing paper receipts for tax purposes. These arguments come with anger as many neomaniacs get offended by my point. But my argument is not about every technology, but about life expectancy, which is simply a probabilistically derived average.
...'
The second mistake is to believe that one would be acting “young” by adopting a “young” technology, revealing both a logical error and mental bias. This mistake has been made by many people, but most recently I saw an angry “futuristic” consultant who accuses people who don’t jump into technology of “thinking old” (he is actually older than I am and, like most technomaniacs I know, looks sickly and pear-shaped and has an undefined transition between his jaw and his neck).
...
But it is precisely the young who propose ideas that are fragile, not because they are young, but because most unseasoned ideas are fragile. And, of course, someone who sells “futuristic” ideas will not make a lot of money selling the value of the past! New technology is easier to hype up.
VictoriaF: I too observe many aging people who try to act young not by exercising their body, mind, and the sense of uncertainty but by constantly staring into a small screen, typing without capitals and punctuation, and complaining when their Uber driver arrives a few minutes late.



Finridge,

Thank you for bringing up Taleb. May I suggest that you reread Antifragile and notice Taleb's criticism of touristification and neomania, which are now epitomized in smartphones.

Cheers,
Victoria
Excellent explanation, all of it!

Finridge
Posts: 509
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 7:27 pm

Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Post by Finridge » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:07 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:24 am
Finridge wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:47 am
VictoriaF wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:53 pm
Workarounds are fun. Workarounds are problem solving. Getting in trouble makes good stories. And no, I decidedly do not want to make it easier. When the absence of a smart phone makes things harder, it creates new challenges -- and I feel happy when I concur challenges.

It's too late for me to become an Africa explorer or an elephant tamer. Smartphone-less life is my last resort, and thankfully it becomes more interesting.

Victoria

Victoria, That's that's interesting. I'm currently reading "Antifragile" by Nicholas Taleb. This is my first Taleb book, and it was some of your posts that motivated me to finally get around to reading one of his works. (Thanks for that!)

I was a late-adopter to smart phones--gone one long after everyone I knew had one. Heck, the guy who goes around on his bike looting aluminum cans from the recycling bins in our neighborhood every week in advance of the garbage truck--he had a smartphone before I did!

Applying some of Taleb's framework: Compared to a flip phone, a smartphone provides exponentially more "optionality." And it really is optionality--you can make as much or as little use of it as you want--using the increased optionality on an as-needed basis. I'd also say that the smartphone is "convex" while the flip phone is "concave." One of the benefits afforded by this optionality, is being able to read Taleb's book on my phone when I'm stuck anywhere... :D

Not trying to change your mind... just having fun applying Taleb's framework... :sharebeer
Finridge,

Taleb wrote Antifragile in 2012 before the smartphone epidemic. He does not mention smartphones explicitly but it is clear that they are fragilizers. Here are some relevant quotes from Antifragile:
Taleb on p.19 wrote:Man-made complex systems tend to develop cascades and runaway chains of reactions that decrease, even eliminate, predictability and cause outsized events. So the modern world may be increasing in technological knowledge, but, paradoxically, it is making things a lot more unpredictable. Now for reasons that have to do with the increase of the artificial, the move away from ancestral and natural models, and the loss in robustness owing to complications in the design of everything, the role of Black Swans in increasing. Further, we are victims to a new disease, called in this book neomania, that makes us build Black Swan–vulnerable systems—“progress.”
VictoriaF: Smartphones are a perfect example of neomania and the epitome of a complex system with cascading outsized effects and vulnerability to Black Swans.


Taleb on p.70 wrote:touristification ... is the systematic removal of uncertainty and randomness from things, trying to make matters highly predictable in their smallest details. All that for the sake of comfort, convenience, and efficiency.
...
The guilty parties are ... the electronic calendar.
VictoriaF: Smartphonification is touristification at its worst. You remove the uncertainty of transportation, lodging, and meals. You reduce daily variations in randomness by reading hotel and restaurant reviews and knowing where Uber will pick you up. But, by the laws of antifragility, you set yourself up for a big blow up, when your phone becomes nonfunctional at a bad time in a wrong place.

If in 2012 electronic calendars were automatic weapons of touristification, the 2018 smartphones are cluster bombs.

Note: I have just invented a new word, Smartphonification.


Taleb on p.150 wrote:Nero enjoyed taking long walks in old cities, without a map. He used the following method to detouristify his traveling: he tried to inject some randomness into his schedule by never deciding on the next destination until he had spent some time in the first one, driving his travel agent crazy—when he was in Zagreb, his next destination would be determined by his state of mind while in Zagreb.
VictoriaF: Nero would never retouristify by removing randomness from his schedule.


Taleb on pp.309-311 wrote:Lindy effect: For the perishable, every additional day in its life translates into a shorter additional life expectancy. For the nonperishable, every additional day may imply a longer life expectancy.
...
If a book has been in print for forty years, I can expect it to be in print for another forty years. But, and that is the main difference, if it survives another decade, then it will be expected to be in print another fifty years.
...
Two mistakes are commonly made when I present this idea—people have difficulties grasping probabilistic notions, particularly when they have spent too much time on the Internet (not that they need the Internet to be confused; we are naturally probability-challenged). The first mistake is usually in the form of the presentation of the counterexample of a technology that we currently see as inefficient and dying, like, say, telephone land lines, print newspapers, and cabinets containing paper receipts for tax purposes. These arguments come with anger as many neomaniacs get offended by my point. But my argument is not about every technology, but about life expectancy, which is simply a probabilistically derived average.
...'
The second mistake is to believe that one would be acting “young” by adopting a “young” technology, revealing both a logical error and mental bias. This mistake has been made by many people, but most recently I saw an angry “futuristic” consultant who accuses people who don’t jump into technology of “thinking old” (he is actually older than I am and, like most technomaniacs I know, looks sickly and pear-shaped and has an undefined transition between his jaw and his neck).
...
But it is precisely the young who propose ideas that are fragile, not because they are young, but because most unseasoned ideas are fragile. And, of course, someone who sells “futuristic” ideas will not make a lot of money selling the value of the past! New technology is easier to hype up.
VictoriaF: I too observe many aging people who try to act young not by exercising their body, mind, and the sense of uncertainty but by constantly staring into a small screen, typing without capitals and punctuation, and complaining when their Uber driver arrives a few minutes late.



Finridge,

Thank you for bringing up Taleb. May I suggest that you reread Antifragile and notice Taleb's criticism of touristification and neomania, which are now epitomized in smartphones.

Cheers,
Victoria

Good discussion!

I'd agree that we should consider our phones (smartphones and otherwise) as "fragile--both literally and within the meaning of Taleb's use of the term. And their reliance on centralized cell towers and servers (for some functions) is also a fragile attribute.

On the other hand the Internet is fragile--it is anti-fragile. And having a smartphone is just one tool to access it. Having greater access to it (if you are not lured into depending on it) provides greater optionality and confers a degree of anti-fragility.

The way I see it, whether having a smartphone makes you more fragile or more anti-fragile is largely dependent on how you use it. The more you depend on it = fragile. Having it available but not depending on it = anti-fragile. For example, I like having the phone maps and GPS capacities, but always also carry paper maps.

In 2012, smartphones had already been around for years. I got my smartphone in 2012, and I was a late-adopter. By then almost everyone I knew had had one for a while.

I am still reading Anti-Fragile. I am most of the way through, but it's a slow process, not just because I read several books at the same time, but also because with this one, I often stop to think about what he is saying, re-read sections, and spend time reading about the topic. It turns out that Nassim Taleb is a VERY active user of social media: he is amazingly active on Twitter, Facebook and Medium. Since he travels a lot, he is almost certainly using a smartphone and other portable devices. Earlier this year, he asked his Twitter followers if he should get the new Iphone8 or Iphone X.

Neomania is love of new thing for new things' sake. But smartphones are here to stay not because of neomania but because of the increased utility they provide. You can use them as much or as little as you want. On trips, my phone is usually turned off or in airplane mode, but there to provide "optionality". I can still be as random and unplanned as I want to be. And my favorite trips are those in which, when I wake up in he morning, I have no idea of exactly what I will be doing that day or where I will end up staying that night.

fasteddie911
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Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Post by fasteddie911 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:03 am

I usually feel pretty good about my travels afterwards, but I have taken trips where I didn't think it was worth it and wouldn't do it again. Fortunately they were inexpensive and easy trips, at the very least I could say I did it. However, I wouldn't care to have that mentality for bigger more expensive trips. I try to do my research carefully and think hard about what I truly want to see/experience, not what other people like or want, to minimize regret afterwards. There are many popular or highly recommended places that I have no interest in and I don't feel it's worth the time, effort and cost to visit them. I can certainly imagine going there only to realize it wasn't worth it. Though, maybe my impression would change afterwards but that's a gamble that I don't currently feel the urge to take.

As a older millenial, I'm exactly the type of person one would think is all about social media, sharing, etc., but I do none of that. I take pictures for myself and maybe to share with close family. I'm not on social media and I don't care to share my travels with others. These days it feels like it's more about showing off and another form of keeping up with the Joneses. A lot of it has become too much for my tastes. Sometimes taking pictures itself is too much or the only goal, and it's often nice to just sit and enjoy the view. I travel for my own enjoyment and it's even better when doing it with friends and loved ones.

Shallowpockets
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Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Post by Shallowpockets » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:41 pm

This is a dilemma. I do not use social media, but I do send back some photos and accounts to select people. Some of them are travelers themselves and some not. To those who are not I feel that maybe they would get out and about more often, especially if they have a dream that they have never realized in travel.
Most of what I would send back would be from unusual places that my friends would not visit for one reason or another, so I would hope it would be more interesting than Eiffel Tower, beach at Cancun, the Trevi fountain, zip line on a cruise ship.
I don't want to bore people.
Most people can't tell a story to your face that has you listening with interest, so in an email or social media it is more of a loss.
I am more interested in how people felt. How did you feel, first time ever out of the country and in a Central American market? People cannot even articulate that? And I am asking you direct. I am soliciting a tale, an account.
All in all over the years I have found that people don't really care or are interested. I do not think for an instant that any social media or photos or emails enhances my experience. I would hope it would enhance theirs.
There can be a fine line between informing people and humble bragging your experience to them about that which they cannot do.

five2one
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Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Post by five2one » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:41 am

We're physically separated from our family so social media is used to share a lot of memories.
We never post until we get back and we lock down our social media access.

Occasionally I like to browse my account to reflect on memories.

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Raybo
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Re: Do you use social media to enhance your travel experience?

Post by Raybo » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:33 am

I induldge in two kinds of travel. One is sightseeing with my wife. The other is solo travel on a bicycle.

When traveling with my wife, I post photos on Facebook for other family and friends to see. When traveling by bicycle, I post photos and comments on various bike touring websites and here.

In order to both document my travels by bicycle and provide insight to others looking to ride a bicycle in the same areas, I created a website dedicated to bicycle touring.

On my website, I post detailed journals of my bike trips. These take weeks to create. In the 10 years since I created the website, I’ve posted 2 dozen journals. Everyday, portions of them are read by random people finding them via the net. I greatly enjoy re-reading my touring journals, as it puts me right back into the experience. I often can remember the moment I took each photograph.

I often get emails from people who had used the information I provide on my website to plan their own trips. This is very satisfying!

I do not nor have any plans to make any money off my travels or website.
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.

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