DO IT FOR THE ‘GRAM

Posted on June 28, 2019


Our Kerry loves a holiday. She also loves social media. One of her goals in life is to visit 25 countries before she turns 25. With this in mind, she wanted to write about how two of her favourite things impact each other. Slap on some sunscreen and have a read of this…

As the holiday season kicks off, we can’t help but notice our Instagram feeds filling up with those perfect holiday selfies, classic poolside snaps and sunsets over beaches that one can only dream of. 

We live in a society where sharing your life online has become the norm, and what do we love to share more than anything? Our idyllic holiday photos - to show people just how great our Monday is compared to the poor souls sat at their desks. 

Instagram is fundamentally changing how we consume and share our travel experiences. Gone are the days of taking your disposable camera to get developed and merely praying that some of those holiday photos turn out even half decent. 

We live in a world that allows the instantaneous sharing of our holiday snaps online. The ubiquitous nature of idyllic holiday posts shared online impacts our own travel decisions and the opinions we form of places we have never been to. 

With 418 million posts on Instagram using #travel, the platform has arguably become the world’s biggest travel site. A 2018 Facebook study found that 70% of travel lovers use Instagram to share their own travel photos and 67% use Instagram to look for inspiration for new places to travel. Schofields Insurance asked millennials what was the most important factor to consider when choosing a holiday destination. 

The answer - how “Instagrammable” the holiday would be. This may sound crazy but social media-fuelled tourism has soared in recent years with more and more people visiting a place simply to ‘up their Insta game.’ Away Resorts found in a 2018 poll that as many as 30% of millennials have visited a location for the sole purpose of taking a photo for Instagram. 

This raises the question of how authentic the travel posts we see on social media really are. If there is a priority placed on ‘Instagrammability,’ then are the images we see merely a replication of many gone before? 

Have we lost the element of adventure associated with travel and are people becoming more concerned with seeing things through a camera lens than through their own eyes? It is so important to take a step back, live in the moment and create your own memories. After all, we are meant to be on holiday to relax, wind down and forget about daily stresses.

At this point I should probably add that I follow countless travel influencers on Instagram and nothing sets me up for the day quite like a good scroll through National Geographic’s travel Instagram account. 

The proliferation of travel images shared on Instagram has made the world feel like a much smaller place. It really is amazing! It has made distant places seem much more accessible and even if we will never go to Bora Bora, at least we know what it looks like! 

The increased exposure to travel that Instagram has facilitated is incredible. A Facebook study found that 61% of people find things to do on Instagram when traveling to a new place and use it to learn about local culture and traditions. It allows us to experience new places, provides us with an insight into local cultures and encourages us to go to distant locations. 

Instagram and the social acceptance that comes with it has become so important in today’s society but when travelling we must remember to create our own experiences, live in the moment and see things through our own eyes, as opposed to a camera lens.