Finding A Balance Between Social Media & Nature | Hiker Thoughts

In a time where “do it for the gram” or “pics or it didn’t happen” is an often-spoken phrase, whether in jest or not, there’s always an undertone of seriousness.

As someone situated in a community of people who value the escape the outdoors provide while also being fully entrenched in the social media generation striking a balance between the two can be difficult.

As a blogger, I’m still trying to find a balance here.

When I hike I want to take you along for the journey; to make you feel as if you’re fully immersed in the adventure I’ve set off on. At the end of the day though, I’m hiking for me.

I’ve noticed that since I’ve started writing summaries of my hike sometimes it is hard to take myself out of that mindset and enjoy the escape.

When I reach the summit I have a general rule that I have five minutes to get the shots I need and after that time whether or not I have them is too bad. The phone goes away, and I enjoy my snack and my view.

But hiking is harder. I want you to see the views and the switchbacks and the journey. Because for me, hiking has very little to do with the summit and everything to do with the time in between the trailhead and the view.

I believe that there’s a lot of value in taking photos. It allows us to connect with people all over the globe and share experiences and opinions we might not otherwise get to.

It also brings me back to the moments where I was sweaty, tired, and possibly over it; or invigorated and excited. Taking photos on the trail gives me a chance to reflect and remember, and having those visuals is something I really value.

I don’t live close to any of my family anymore, and getting to send my grandfather pictures of my latest adventure means the world to me. So when I say that I value social media, I mean it.

I haven’t gotten to a point where I have a photographer to capture quality photos of my hikes. And honestly, I’m really torn on that concept.

Taking time to indulge in adventure Instagram’s filled with high quality photos can be great. But I’m worried that for me personally if I start adventuring with a photographer who isn’t just a friend that happens to be really great at capturing moments I’m going to get taken out of where I am.

I’ll worry about the positioning of my body or the way my face looks while I’m taking on a rock scramble. And I don’t want that.

The idea of inauthenticity in nature worries me. Because when I’m out in the woods I look like a trash monster.

It’s gritty and sweaty and I’m not always smiling.

I don’t think we see enough of that on social media. And sure, those aren’t the moments I choose to capture either, but with my photos I try to convey honesty about where I’m at emotionally and mentally.

Social media has a lot of cons, but there is also room for some really magical stuff.

I’m hoping to find a balance between pretty pictures, but also honest ones. Ones where I look a little bit broken because in that moment maybe I am.

It’s a balance I’m still trying to find with myself. How to enjoy the hike and the moment that I’m in while also capturing those moments for myself and for you guys.

Question: Do you struggle with balancing social media and being in the moment?

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