What role does social media play in the full-time RV lifestyle? Platforms for distraction and procrastination or tools to enrich our lives? Choosing between the two I am inclined to go with time waster but I believe that Social Media has its pluses as well.
Traveling and camping to “experience the world” vs social media putting you right in the virtual thick of things. It has been my experience that there is more JUNK on social media than worthwhile content. Marketing, gimmicks, clickbait garbage and straight advertising to your electronic device. Even once I learned to filter a bit, there remains a steady stream of garbage slipping through.
On the other hand I have met great people, learned many things and been exposed to material I may have never run into as a result of skimming through the updates on my accounts.
Perfect demonstration/marketing/advertisement (Oh… the Irony!) of Social Media in use outdoors!
I use Facebook, Instagram, YouTube (a bit) and Twitter. This is more than enough for me. Actually it’s a bit too much but if managed well I seem to benefit a bit from each account. My social media presence is pretty new. I got “plugged in” to find out more about transitioning to a RV lifestyle. Now I am looking for other people with shared interests and am also sharing our experiences with others.
My experiences and thoughts on the social media platforms we use:
Facebook @homewithwheels: It’s a great place to post an idea or question and receive outside opinion from a chosen community of people. We all know folks love sharing their opinions! Facebook seems good for learning new things and being made aware of new ideas, people, and places. https://www.facebook.com/homewithwheels/
Twitter @home_withwheels : I am relatively new to twitter but an finding it useful and interesting. Where else can you “text / tweet” directly to a person would otherwise have no access to? Even better you may actually receive a reply. We are all fans of someone out there. Rockstars, celebrities, authors, educators, innovators, bloggers. Busy people are often accessible on twitter. https://twitter.com/home_withwheels
Instagram: Pictures are beautiful and this platform makes sharing them with friends and family very simple. Following others on here is also a joy because the spammy junk is minimized. Photos and comments. It’s a simple and beautiful thing. https://www.instagram.com/homewithwheels/
YouTube: Where else can you watch a 90 year old skydive and then learn to replace the wheel bearings on a 74 Oldsmobile? YouTube has got it all, from video blogs to “how to anything”. I have yet to understand YouTube as a community and consider it more of a library than anything else. I am a big fan though. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0WVuojfejmDT9EyxLr0jig
Is the use of social media enriching or hindering our RV lifestyle? Pros and cons:
PRO: Puts us in touch with others in a mobile community. Its nice to have a dialogue or keep track of people living a similar life experience. Our paths are all unique but we must share similar aspirations. Pulling the plug on the house and 9-5 to live in a camper definitely falls outside the norm. Other than rallies, campgrounds and fueling stations where else would we have access to one another in such numbers.
PRO: Access to advice and information. I have benefited greatly from the practical and emotional advice given on social media as we transitioned into our mobile lifestyle. Insurance, selling our stuff, legalities, RV repair, how-to, storage, organization, cooking…… the list goes on. People sharing success and failures and offering advice has prevented us from having to re-invent the wheel each step of the way. We found the people or information through social media.
CON: Social media can be toxic. Internet tough guys and hate mongers abound. No need to elaborate. We have all run into these bitter keyboard malcontents.
CON: Its often like watching TV and being stuck on commercials. “Get rich today”, “pill to cure everything”, “hottest fashion”, “cheapest insurance”, “best buys on Amazon”, “new in theaters”……… i just want to see the latest updates on my friends road trip. Social Media is free to use and advertising keeps the lights on. I understand that. Necessary evil i suppose but the ratio of content to advertising can sometimes be a bit overwhelming.
CON: Speaking for myself, social media can turn into a time vacuum. I sit down to check the weather forecast, a video appears in the sidebar: “3 tricks to ensure your RV roof never leaks” or “simple stretches to relieve shoulder pain”. I don’t want my RV to leak! My shoulder has been a bit tight lately! It would be irresponsible of me not to take a minute out of my day to learn something new! 45 minutes later I am watching people catch tuna with baby rattles in the arctic ocean. Yup … for me my social media accounts can be a terrible distraction if I let my guard down or get lazy.
I created a blog to document my thoughts and experiences before, during and after a huge lifestyle change. HomeWithWheels.com is my platform to chronicle my opinions and adventures. My website is also an attempt to create a tiny community of people who might see the world through similar colored glasses and communicate with them on a regular basis. Social media gives me the outlet to put my material in front of potentially interested people. It is my hope that I can “get myself out there” in a a classy but effective way that does not further clutter news-feeds with more junk-mail.
In summary I think social media has its place in my #RVlifesytle. Used with restraint and tact I hope to meet new people and build relationships. It makes the world a smaller place. As important as it is for me to unplug and be mindful of the beautiful world around me it is important to have community. When traveling and living mobile its nice to be able to access that community simply by finding a WiFi connection.
I think I’ll be sticking with social media for a while. Please, come find us there and say hello.
Safe travels all!