Vacation shaming has been around for a few years but has changed over time.
It was originally a term used to describe work environments where co-workers and bosses would use peer pressure and guilt trips to discourage employees from taking time off. With some offices working at a bare minimum, people who went away on vacations would cause extra work for their co-workers, or perhaps a general slowdown. So the thought process was the less time off people took, the better.
However, vacation shaming somehow evolved to the exact opposite. Instead of guilting employees to not use up their time, it turned into pressuring them to use up all of their earned time off, sometimes with the threat of “use it or lose it.” This most likely happened as companies realized that more time left in the bank would cost them more in the long run when you accounted for raises and cost of living increases.
COVID has brought the concept of vacation shaming to a whole new level. Instead of (or along with) your boss and/or co-workers telling you that you should or shouldn’t go out of town, it’s now your friends, family, and people on Facebook (some of which you might not even know, or, at best, haven’t seen since grammar school), Instagram, and other forms of social media.
And, of course, nowadays it’s all about COVID. And really, it can go in a variety of directions:
- If you’ve chosen to stay home and not go on vacation, you might be shamed by those who say you should “live your life” and “not live in fear.”
- If you go on vacation, you might be admonished by those who claim you’re promoting the spread and that you should stay home. Or if you go but take precautions, like taking road trips instead of flying, or making the conscious decision to go on weekdays, when places aren’t as crowded, you might hear comments like, “You should respect the virus but not fear it.”
Of course, peoples’ opinions about COVID, and what to do in light of the virus, run from one end of the spectrum to another. I know people who are “living their lives,” maskless. I also know people who can count on one hand the number of times they’ve left their house since March.
Then again, everyone’s perceived risks when it comes to COVID are completely different. Younger people are at low risk for complications and might not be super careful about COVID precautions. People who are my parents’ age are more apt to isolate, especially if they’re in ill health to begin with and could have some really nasty problems if they caught the virus. And there’s so much misinformation, on top of conspiracy theories, that some peoples’ opinions are based more on fiction than anything else.
So what can you do about all this? Frankly, not much.
For work situations, there’s really not much that can be done. I mean, short of just not telling your co-workers where or if you’re going anywhere (or not). Which I suppose is possible, But if you’re away for X amount of time, people are going to notice and, just out of curiosity, they’re going to ask where you’ve been.
From a social media point of view, it’s a little easier. You know who the guilty parties are. And whether it’s the person you knew from your 2nd-grade class or a co-worker from your first job out of college, it’s easy enough not to let them see your vacation-centric posts, to delete their “Dude, you gotta live your life!” or “Way to spread the virus!” posts, or to ignore them.
As travel bloggers whose posts are available for the world to see, we get to deal with trolls on a pretty regular basis. So we get our share of folks who admonish us for just about everything we write about, COVID precautions or otherwise, LOL! If people want to submit a comment about what we write, we have to approve it before it’s published, and if they aren’t in compliance with the rules we’ve set up, we don’t approve them. And that’s how we deal with rude vacation shamers on our blog.
In a nutshell, it all comes down to the same thing as everything else in life:
THOSE WHO MATTER DON’T MIND,
AND THOSE WHO MIND DON’T MATTER.
Feature Photo: Pixy/org/Public Domain
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#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary