Does the influence of Instagram/ social media affect the real experience of travel?

We are the Instagram generation; our feed is littered with photo after photo of well-edited holiday snaps, coupled with deep and meaningful captions. These pictures are undoubtably asthetically pleasing, but let’s be honest, does anyone really care that you went to that cool hipster café in Sydney, or that your high school friend is currently on their exchange programme in Europe?

It can’t be denied that social media inspires you to travel. The speed that you can share images, and ability for them to go viral what makes Instagram an effective marketing tool. Gone are the days where Instagram was the site to share snippets of your daily life- it has become a site to compare which of our lives is the glitziest. But does social media, especially Instagram, affect the real experience of travel? Are we taking photos for the sake of capturing that moment, or because we need to update our seemingly dead social media account?

Are we taking photos for the sake of capturing that moment, or because we need to update our seemingly dead social media account?

For the percentage of us who possess a passport, travelling is a privilege and if we are able to do it, we should all take the opporunity. By going to a destination that has a culture different from your own, you become the minority in the country and gain a whole new perspective. Too often in modern society, we fall into the loop of going to the same few places because ‘it is convenient’ or ‘it is cheaper’ and eventually lose the thrill of exploration. By pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone we are able to enrich our lives to such a degree that upon our return, we don’t see our home country the same way anymore.

There is a difference however between travelling for yourself and travelling for validation by others. When it comes to taking photos by all means, do it! Capturing memories is all part of the joy of travelling anyway. However, obsessing over the best angle and which type of filters to use will cause you to lose sight of what is happening around you and result in some of the best parts of your trip slipping away silently. There is a fine line between enlightening and boasting about your travelling experiences. Rather than spending hours thinking about which pun to use for your caption, why not share what you’ve learnt that day. Remember to live in the moment and embrace the blessing of being among the fortunate few who have the physical and financial capabilities to travel. That is what I call living life to the full and worth way more than any number of ‘likes’.

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