6 Tips For Sharing Your Gap Year Journey On Social Media
Cheerio to all you excited lot out there who have decided to take a gap year abroad. Packing up your life and shipping out for a year is certainly a remarkable event to look forward to and definitely worthy of getting you some upvotes, swag points, and the likes. However, in public service, we would also like to warn you from becoming the social media oversharer. Keep a check on your sharing activities and do not slip into the role of ‘That Guy’! Our generation is living Online as much as in our fleshy physical existence and our online reputation is something that we can’t wish away if it goes awry. It’s all up there on those servers and shizz. And with college admission boards and even recruiters rigorously checking out applicants’ online presence, you gotta make sure your online profile is foolproof and reflects on all the best that you’ve done!
Here are a few tips for sharing the best of what you got on Social Media Networks-
1. Establish a #SocialMedia Benchmark
All you super-excited gappers restless to kick-off your adventure abroad and flash it all across your social media platforms, it always helps to have a rule of thumb. You’re gonna have a sensory overload in your first few days in the new country. Do not get overwhelmed and don't let it get the better of you. Think first and post later. Don’t go all cray-cray with all the snapshots you've got lying in your photo library just waiting to see the light of day. Remember, your friends, family, teachers, peers are gonna see what you’ve been up to, so it’s better to be wise and avoid uploading content that is NSFW (not safe for work). So choose sensibly and avoid having a nightmarish digital footprint following you around! Most importantly, you should steer clear of any kind of debating or negative content, not even in the guise of a joke that could offend the people of the country you’re traveling in. Trust us, you’ll cherish the experience way more than that 15 minutes of ‘Social Media fame’. Use your judgment, control the flow and you’re one step closer to becoming a social media pro while abroad.
2. Be wise in choosing the networks
As far as documenting a gap year journey goes, blogging and vlogging have been two of the most popular means of sharing over the internet. We need not tell you about the platforms of social media in abundance, there’s just too many. And making a poor choice on this front and failing to get your posts the perfect exposure could really turn into a suckfest. One way to go about it is selecting networks that are heavily frequented by students and millennials. What it ensures is exposure to people who are on the same wavelength as you, something that’ll inevitably rack up your posts’ popularity and also give a boost to your social media presence during your gap year abroad. Now that you’ve decided on the platforms into which you’re gonna invest hundreds of GBs and TBs in your quest of sharing your gap year journey abroad, you’ve completed level 2 of the game and is another step closer to becoming a social media pro.
3. Safety First, sharing later!
Having Couscous at the local souk in Marrakech. At The Hard Rock Cafe, New Delhi. How many similar kinds of posts have you seen up there? Numerous right! Yeah, everyone is into geo-tagging suddenly, and that too a lot, and people like to ping off of places, wherever they at. On your gap year, out there on your own, the world might be your oyster, but danger could very well be lurking in the shadows. What you gotta do is not shine a spotlight on yourself in the dark, making your activities and the destinations of those activities known to everyone. Though some might say it is a good way to geotag and let the people who care about you know about your whereabouts, there’s no guarantee a creep won’t come across the same thing on the open social media platform which in itself is like inviting danger. It is great if you are a social media unicorn with the most positive outlook thinking the best of everyone, we are in no way trying to mar that for you.
Our team at GDA is just the caring kind, always thinking about the safety of our travelers. One of the main reasons we have kept a 24/7 in-country assistance. So to break it down, turn off your location, share your whereabouts personally with the people you know and just avoid Foursquare altogether. Wham-bam! Level 3- Accomplished! Whew, you’re really getting good at this!
4. Share the best of your moments
Are you one of those selfies freaks who go into a frenzy every time they hold up a camera in front of their face? Or, are you the kind that is seen clicking consecutive pictures of the same sunset, the same lofty mountains, the same Eiffel Tower, pardon the last example, with only a handful that is upload worthy. Now you have a boatload of pictures and you are of the mind to share most of them. Let us stop you before you get to that. It’s better to get nitpicky before uploading a picture rather than dumping the entire load onto these platforms.
A gap year is 365 days of adventure and 365 days of great experiences and you ought to have several highlights on this year-long trip abroad. Is it the time you spent bathing the elephants in an elephant reserve in Thailand? Or the time when you hiked up to the top of Machu Picchu, or maybe when you first laid your eyes on the Taj Mahal! These special moments are the perfect way to go about connecting with your followers and give them a taste of the amazing adventure you’re on. Get out of your head and stop looking at things through your camera. Don’t get too lost in documenting the trip that you overlook the real experiences for which you actually embarked on this journey. Try putting a limit on how many times a day you’re sharing and stick to it, Period! Almost halfway to becoming an expert, you’ve completed Level-4!
5. Leave out the personal details
Seen it, read it, done it! Now don’t you shy away or deny it, we all have, at some point made those FB posts or tweets that were a bit much on the personal side of things. Everyone’s not the happy go lucky kind and it’s impossible to be your brightest self if something has ticked you off during your travels or you’re at a low point. It’s okay to have these moments. What’s not Okay is to go online and share these. From comments to posts to pictures, we all have seen the kinds that were so personal that they sent an instant eerie feeling down your spine.
Don’t be the cause of someone’s else’s eerie feeling down the spine. Venting is pretty basic when it comes to human beings and it’s good to vent out from time to time. What's not Okay is for the entire world to tune in to it. Share your thoughts with the people who care about you and who’d understand what you’re actually going through and who can guide you through the problems that you’re facing. Keep off from the social media platforms when you’re not your best self and keep things positive about your time abroad. Level 5- Done and Done and you’re almost at the end of the line!
6. Time to get your privacy settings checked
Here again, you need to remember the rule of thumb- Don’t share anything that you wouldn’t wanna publicize en-masse, remember your family and friends are on up there as well. Keep your posts private on FaceBook and make your account private on Instagram and check up on the privacy settings of all the other networks that you intend on using for sharing stories about your gap year journey abroad. Those blurry selfies of you hammered on a Full Moon Night Party should be kept for some eyes only! Once you are through with revising the privacy setting, you can rest assured for the rest of your trip that your pictures and posts are not being devoured by some loony loons out there!
You are embarking on a once in a lifetime opportunity, so, be sure to make the most of this gap year trip abroad. Have some crazy adventures, meet new people, touch people’s lives, fall in love with someone, make a few mistakes and learn from them, but don’t just spit it all out across the internet. Social media is truly a bonus when it comes to staying in touch with the people you care about when you are abroad and keeping them updated about all the surreal experiences you are having. You moderate your content and leave the trip planning on us.
Our team at GDA will make sure to pack up your itinerary with things that’ll make a great gap year story online! Have a blast!