The holidays are here, time to unplug!

It’s that time of year when the weather gets colder and the holidays begin. There is a difference with the holiday season today as opposed to the holidays when we were growing up. Today, you are always connected to the outside world and it is hard to untether yourself from life while you are on holidays. Parties are planned, activities for the kids have been organized, holidays with friends are underway, you’re thinking this is going to be the BEST winter vacation yet! You are already imaging the posts you’ll be able to create with your stunning tree, amazing food pictures, the family & decorations…..But wait could it be time for a digital detox?

Instead of going digital-free cold turkey, it is important to set you and your family up for success.

We know that taking a digital vacation is easier said than done. Unless you plan to toss your device into the snow, you are still going to have a device people can contact you on. The trick is to plan accordingly. Try these tips so you’ll return back to work relaxed and refreshed and not in need of a vacation from your vacation.

Make the Detox Decision as a Family – Don’t spring a digital detox on your family; talk it out! The holiday season is about everyone, so make everyone feel included. Explain why a digital detox is a much needed part of the holidays. Let everyone have his or her say, then compromise. It doesn’t mean you have to leave all devices at home, but set limits on both the time and the place to spend in front of the screen.

Plan Group Activities – Whether you are headed to the ski hill, a toboggan ride, or sitting by the fire, make a decision to be active. Get out and experience nature. Listen to the sounds, take in the lights and go for a walk. Whether you enjoy a walk in the snow, snowshoeing or visiting a local site, you are guaranteed to have something exciting to talk about during dinner. Plus, an added benefit of physical exercise is a better night’s sleep!

Make the Switch – Switch your phone into airplane mode so you won’t be interrupted by the constant ping of incoming mail or social media updates but you’ll still be able to take photos without the constant reminder of incoming mail.

Start the Conversation – If you are travelling over the holidays have you discussed your social media plan? What if you are travelling with friends or other family members? What if you’ve made the family decision that you are going to keep your holiday plans quiet until you return from home. Imagine you’ve headed off for a few days of fun with family friends, you arrive at the resort first thing your friend does is check in on social media, posts a picture of you all sitting by the pool that evening and tags you….so much for keeping your plans quiet. It is now out for all to see that you are away at “#SociallySafe” resort with the #SociallySafe Family. How are you going to handle that….time to start the conversation!

Social media is still such a relatively new topic for many and new situations arise daily, it’s something we need to talk about. When you are traveling with friends or family, you need to have a social conversation. Do we want to share posts of our family holiday while we are away? How do we handle the situation if one family wants to and another does not? Do we check-in to our location, do we tag each other in photos? How secure are your privacy settings. These are conversations that we have to be willing to have. Not everyone wants all of their personal information online. Pictures are great, but some need to just be kept as memories not for the entire world to see. It’s always a good idea to share your photos once you return home from vacation.

What about the kids, do your children have social media accounts? Do you set family rules about holiday and activity postings? What about bathing suit posts if you are travelling somewhere warm over the holidays? Is it okay to post those? What about location settings, do your children know how to turn off their location so they can take a picture without a map being embedded into the photo? Do you? Do they know how to turn it back on so that afterwards it can be on should they lose their device and you need to use one of the downloadable apps to find it….or them?

Wait to Share – If you are travelling over the holidays and away from your home, please wait to share your photo’s until you return.

Shut It Off – Should you decide to take pictures and post them while away take a minute to ensure that your location settings has been turned off. Photo’s that are taken with your photos and uploaded to social media have a map embedded into the photo giving people an exact location of your whereabouts. Our advice would be wait and share your photo’s once you return home.

Social Media is a fantastic way to share with family and friends, but guidelines have to be set within the family and with friends. It’s a conversation that we need to start to have. This holiday season we encourage you to start the conversation. Make the choice to do a digital detox and grab some screen-free time with your family.

Remember to have fun on and offline, be #sociallysafe and THINK before you post.

Happy Holidays

Kerry & Stacy

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