Does Technology Have a Negative Impact on Traveling?

Technology has many benefits and tourists can use it in various ways in their travels: to get around in cities (maps), to find good restaurants, museums nearby, to take pictures and to share them on social media channels or blogs, or to keep in touch with their loved ones. But when it comes to technology and travel, it’s not all positive and some negativity rears its head.

technology

technology, photo by violetkaipa / Shutterstock

It makes you expect too much from a museum

Museums are important tourist objectives (the Louvre was the most visited art museum in 2012.) Over the past few years, museums successfully integrated technology offering their visitors multilingual interactive panels and exhibitions, or video and audio presentations. You definitely saw them in important museums – for instance the Technical Museum in Vienna. But this type of technology is expensive, and museums from smaller countries with a lower budget cannot afford it.

Are you disappointed when a museum only offers static exhibits? You are not the only one, as many of the global travelers I talked to feel the same way. Many children nowadays refuse to enter a museum that does not have interactive content. In my opinion that is a pity, because there are many museums with relevant content, albeit not interactive.

I recently visited the Aviation Museum in Romania. If you were not aware, the beginnings of aviation were influenced by the inventions and work of some important locals (Henri Coanda and Aurel Vlaicu.) While the museum is interesting, it offers only static exhibits and information on printed guides so it does not have an impressive number of visitors. And that’s too bad, as approximately 850 million visit American museums each year, to give you an example.

It influences you to focus more on sharing than experiencing

When visiting a place, do you take photos first and then enjoy the view? Do you share your location on social media first or enjoy your visit and share it later? You are definitely not the only one caught up in documenting your trip, but things started out differently. There were only film rolls available for cameras, the cost of a photo was higher, so people were taking fewer snapshots, one-maybe two films per holiday.

Nowadays, as you’ve surely noticed, people take a lot of photos: with a camera or a smartphone; they also use selfie sticks to take a photo of themselves in a given place. These devices got so popular, that they ended up annoying other visitors and Disneyland and other landmarks banned them.

With the boom of social media platforms and channels, you almost cannot control the impulse of sharing your whereabouts. But focusing more on sharing where you are, what you do, what you eat, along with what your friends have to say about it sometimes stops you from properly experiencing a given place.

It raises your expectations too high and then reality ends up letting you down

We can take a picture nowadays and then use filters, enhance it and make it look amazing. In fact, if you’ll read various blogging or social media tips you’ll often see the recommendation to have amazing eye-catching photos in order to get shares/followers.

But there is a downside to that. You may fall in love with the way a place looks – the bright colors, details, etc. – and, when you get there, to be more or less disappointed with what you find. It was the case for me with a wonderful castle in Romania – Corvin’s Castle – amazing in photos online, but less bright in reality. Grey-er, not as red as in the photos… get my point?

Yes, I wrote a previous article on this topic and about an advice that I have for anyone who travels (as a tourist or as a traveler): don’t set your expectations too high, even if social media often pushes you to do just that. But yes, I see that, with the “push” to post perfect photos, the real experience is enhanced, a lot, and it becomes a lie online. But people see the latter, not the actual castle/building/photo and… you get it: we tend to expect what we see. And it’s not our fault – as we don’t know how a place really looks like until we see it.

 

While there are undeniable benefits of using the latest technology available when traveling, too much of it can damage your enjoyment and even bother other tourists. You should always try to find a balance between experiencing a venue and sharing photos and impressions on social media and you should try to not judge a museum by how much technology it uses, but by the variety and novelty of the content it provides.

A side note: I don’t advocate for not using technology while travelling. I use it: I too take photos, I too use a gps or an app like Waze while on the road with a car and so on. But I also notice the negative impact of technology on travel and I am just wondering if anyone else notices it as well.

Lori

I’m offering public relations, communications and image counseling in everyday life and I have a PR agency – PRwave INTERNATIONAL. I am passionate about reading, blogging (I also have a blog in Romanian) and traveling. Follow me on Twitter - @violetaloredana (Romanian) and @TravelMoments.

19 thoughts on “Does Technology Have a Negative Impact on Traveling?

  • 8 October, 2015 at 03:56
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    Come to think of it this way, it is true. Sometimes we take so much time trying to get the perfect photograph to post. We miss out on experiencing the whole trip more intimately with the people.
    Fred´s last blog post ..Review of THE MARTIAN: Scintillating Science

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  • 8 October, 2015 at 05:35
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    There are positive things that technology offers us when on the road, but we do have to admit that there are also negatives. I use GPS as well, especially when we’re not familiar with the area we’re going to, but other than that nothing much. I use an SLR to take pictures but sometimes I forget so we end up with no photos at all haha, and we bring books and coloring materials for the kids, we just don’t what them to attached to technology.
    Anne V´s last blog post ..Mom And Milly | Review

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  • 8 October, 2015 at 05:48
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    I’ve eperienced something like that before… I’m so excited to go to that place because it looks beautiful in photo. But just got disappointed when I saw it in real life… It is also because of photoshop and filters that made it look beautiful.
    Aurika Matias´s last blog post ..Halloween Preparation

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  • 8 October, 2015 at 14:35
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    Yes it’s true of course, that technology affects our daily living and the way our characters molded by it. Well, really it depends on us to shift things that perceive by our own customs and tradition.

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  • 8 October, 2015 at 18:05
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    I would say it still depends on the person if you’re going to be affected by the things you see online or if you would rather experience things for yourself. It’s also about your level of expectation, you can choose not to expect so much. It’s definitely not good if you’re letting your decisions and emotions be carried away by technology.

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  • 8 October, 2015 at 23:54
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    This applies not only in travel but also in small activities like hanging out at a restaurant. Most of the time, people tend to be busy using their phones (social media) rather than bonding with the persons he/she is with. Technology is very important, but some people just need to tone it down once in a while.
    Yvonne Claire Bertoldo´s last blog post ..WD MAKES CLOUD STORAGE MORE PERSONAL (AND PRIVATE)

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  • 9 October, 2015 at 00:02
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    technology has helped me a lot in my travel. Back when I was traveling in SG and KL. My online access enabled me to go to places even if I am traveling solo without a travel agency! That’s how amazing the technology could help us. I don’t believe in believing in the negative impact. It’s up to how the person uses technology and be aware of the consequences of using technology inappropriately. Technology in the first place, for me, is an aid to make our lives easier and more convenient without prejudice to having a great quality life! 😀
    Raymond´s last blog post ..Kuala Lumpur Adventure Part 4: City Tour (When in Kuala Lumpur Where Do You Go?)

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  • 9 October, 2015 at 08:09
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    Many of us are guilty of this, if not all. Especially us, bloggers. I tend to take photos first especially if the place is bloggable enough. But yes, it gives, in a way, false hope to us also. Places looks more beautiful on photos than in reality.
    Dianne´s last blog post ..What I Wore: Black is Back

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  • 9 October, 2015 at 11:21
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    This is a great post to reflect on. I guess, it’s all in how other people use technology. If they know how to control themselves and know how to use it wisely, I believe that advancements in technology will really help us with our daily lives, our chosen careers and it will make our world smaller for all of us.
    Louise´s last blog post ..Check Out These Beautiful Adult Coloring Cards From SM Dept Store

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  • 9 October, 2015 at 12:46
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    I love how you were able to point out though how technology is changing the way we are experiencing travel negatively. But, while there are a lot of disadvantages of technology when it comes to us being able to appreciate the view with our eyes, it doesn’t change the fact the we’re able to freeze that moment in time and have it remembered. All it takes is to use that technology a wisely.

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  • 9 October, 2015 at 15:29
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    So true! Wherever we go these days whether holidaying or restaurant first thing is to capture rather than enjoying it .

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  • 9 October, 2015 at 15:33
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    I think having interactive apps can really give you a better appreciation of the place. I remember we had the headset guided tour in Versailles before. I’m sure they have an app on that. The same with Louvre. You get to learn more about the exhibits.
    Franc Ramon´s last blog post ..Stepping into the 80s with the Brooks Chariot

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  • 10 October, 2015 at 17:18
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    I agree that there are undeniable benefits of using the latest technology available when traveling however too much of it can damage your enjoyment.

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  • 27 June, 2017 at 13:39
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    I don’t agree with the author.
    It totally us who loves these enhancing feature , continuous use of gadtets, etc.
    Technology doesn’t say to overuse it .
    That’s us who does that.
    We should have that much control in ourself that we should live the moment when its about enjoying and we should think to capture the moment when this never moment seems to never happen again.

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