Social media is huge, even during the current pandemic everyone is facing, social media didn’t dwindle at all. In fact, people were on social media significantly more as this was great escapism for some. Apps such as TikTok grew exponentially thanks to the pandemic and it became a great way to bring multiple communities together.
Social media can be great, you can stay in touch with loved ones, make new friends, show off the highlights of what’s happening in your life. While all of this can be great, there is one thing that simply cannot be ignored. Social media pushes photo spots, and it pushes people to go places so they can have that picture-perfect experience or at least make it picture perfect.
Chances are, you’ve seen more than enough content on social media such as “Expectations vs Reality” or “What’s on Instagram versus reality” and it may entail a beautiful photo of a picture-perfect spot only for the illusion to be destroyed thanks to a massive line or crowds all around. Are people going to these areas only to get more attention on social media? Are they just after more likes and comments? Is it worth standing in line just to get one photo? So, with that said here are some reasons why you shouldn’t base your travel plans solely around what you see on social media.
You may experience FOMO
Social media makes people feel as if they’re missing out on something. While it’s true that Instagram and TikTok can be perfect for showing off guides of what to see, what to eat, and what to do. Sometimes these guides, especially photo-worthy ones will create this “I can’t miss this” feeling. It may be hard to do but why not just ignore the FOMO whenever you’re planning. It’s important to prioritize what you’re wanting to experience rather than just what you’re wanting to shoot a snapshot or video of it. It’s important to make time for the experiences that you want to have rather than trying to plan out what you’re interested in seeing or what you’re interested in taking photos of.
You may go somewhere you have zero interest in
Traveling is beautiful, you get to see some of the most beautiful sights that the world has to offer. But it’s important to ask yourself if you’re going somewhere only to have nice photos or if you’re going somewhere just to have the experience. Think about some of the most “instagrammable” places in the world such as The Maldives. They have pristine beaches, white sand, and they’re famous for their luxury bungalow hotels. In fact, it’s their hotels that make them so popular. Many travels there to have this picture-perfect experience but it’s not like they expected it to be or it’s not as picture perfect as they thought.
The same can honestly be said about things to do at the Grand Canyon, or any other landmark really. So just think about it, are you going somewhere just because you have genuine interests or are you wanting to go somewhere in the hopes of creating good content during your travels? If it’s both, then that’s wonderful! But if you’re only interested in going to a destination solely for creating eye-catching content, then it may be best to rethink your priorities of where to go for your travels.
There’s a high chance you may waste some money
There are more than enough easy to make travel mistakes, and one of them is spending too much money. During vacations or travel in general, it’s totally normal and justified to spend extra money that you usually wouldn’t spend. Almost everyone does that because travel gives you the chance to indulge in things that you usually wouldn’t indulge in. This is one of the best parts of getting to travel because you’re getting to treat yourself to the finer things in life.
However, it’s also important to be a bit realistic as well when it comes to spending. This can include spending money on food that you usually wouldn’t eat because it looks so photo-worthy. This becomes a more common occurrence in the travel scene where restaurants are specifically catering to tourists by creating dishes (or just decorating average dishes) to look pretty. It’s fun getting to eat a nice presentation, but sometimes it just ends up with the food tasting bad. Other times it can be that a restaurant, hotel, or some other hospitality business looks beautiful but the customer service is awful.
But it can also go far beyond this as well. Instagram and TikTok museums are popping up, and these are meant to be a place to just pose rather than have an actual experience. Unfortunately, in many countries, animal exploitation is on the rise. Some establishments will let customers pose with sedated animals or ride an animal such as an elephant.
It can be agreed that this is terribly unethical, and things like this are sadly on the rise. It is up to the individual whether they choose to spend their money on these things or not, the tourist industry, especially when it comes to taking photos or videos can be quite harmful.
Your content isn’t going to stand out
It can be a bit difficult to stand out from the crowd, especially if you like other people’s ideas and want to imitate it. Who hasn’t seen photos of people posing in front of the Eiffel tower, or having a back-of-the-head shot with a mountain backdrop. All of these are nice, in fact, they can feel refreshing. But it does show off a lack of creativity.
This is nothing more than a personal preference of whether you’re wanting your content on social media to stand out or not. But when it comes to trends, all it means is copying what the first person did. You’ll find more than enough copy-and-pate trends on TikTok, and there’s even an Instagram page with the sole intention of showing off photo trends such as the yellow rain jacket in Iceland or the canoe picture on a blue lake.
Your expectations may crumble
The whole “Instagram versus reality” content floats around from time to time on social media. It starts with a beautiful photo or even a beautiful video but then afterward you’re met with additional content that shows lines or a crowd or something among those lines. Just because something looks absolutely beautiful in a photo doesn’t immediately mean that it will be like that in person. This “Instagram versus reality” content does well by shedding light on the topic.
Not everything you see on social media is real, in fact, some of it may be completely fake. So it’s important to not have the highest expectations of certain things as you may find yourself being extremely disappointed. So if you’re wanting to travel somewhere based on content that you’ve seen online then it’s best to take it all with a grain of salt.
You may compare your content and experience to others
If you love to follow content from social media influencers, YouTube vloggers, and other travel bloggers then you may question how they get to have these perfect trips. Maybe you want to emulate what some of these big travel influencers have such as the perfect 5-star hotel experience with breakfast in bed.
It’s completely understandable that you’re going to want that, especially if influencers are showing off how good their trips are going. But it’s important to just have a trip the way you want to have a trip. Of course, you can take inspiration from other content creators but in general, it’s far more important to have a great time.