Social Media and Travel FOMO
Do you have travel FOMO? Are you responsible for contributing to this ‘Fear Of Missing Out’? Most of us use social media of some description, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, or whatever it might be. Some of us for work, some of us for personal use. Either way, the majority of us spend 30 minutes to several hours each and every day checking our feeds, interacting with friends, family or ‘fans’. This means we’re all responsible to some extent.
Without viewers, without readers, without fans, the social media community simply would not exist. Without us, the content consumers, ‘influencers’ would not be paid to promote products, endorse brands and collaborate with businesses.
Social Media and Travelling
There are countless travel blogs out there (and yes I’m one of them). And there are millions, if not billions, of Instagram and Pinterest accounts creating travel content. These accounts are meant to inspire us. To encourage us to go somewhere. To show us how beautiful it is. And to open our eyes up to new places and new experiences.
My Travel Ethos
I want everyone to be able to travel however they like, and to enjoy the experience for what it is. To be wise and to get the best out of their travels.
I fell in love with travelling after I went on my first ever solo trip. Travelling alone felt like complete and utter freedom. A feeling I’d never felt before, which inspired me to blog about it. It reminded me that sometimes you need to take a break away from work. Sometimes you need to give yourself time for a little R & R. In my eyes travelling is HEALTHY.
But whether you’re travelling for a holiday, for work, or travelling as a way of life, no one should feel judged. Equally, if you’ve got a demanding job, a family to provide for, a sick loved one to care for, or in fact any restraints in the world, no one should feel like they’re missing out for not travelling.
Easing the Travel FOMO
Sometimes I see beautiful pictures online and my bucket list seems to get longer and longer. I worry about fitting in so many holidays to all these cool destinations I read about online. And wondering how I’m going to afford them. I always feel that I need to be doing more, going to more places.
Then I realised something.
Social media only shows you one side of the story. You see a myriad of glamorous images – perfectly made-up women with their expensive clothes billowing in the wind as their photographer snaps the perfect travel shot. These images are edited. Brightness up. Saturation up. Highlight up. So much effort goes into them you wouldn’t believe. I recently watched a Youtube video by a reasonably well known Instagram influencer (33k followers) and (who I actually know) explaining how she takes approximately 300-500 photos, in different outfits in about 5 different locations, in order to post just one online.
Social media shows us the best bits. It’s people ‘living their best life’. What they don’t show you is the 400 people in the background they had to crop out. Or the fact there was a queue of 20 people waiting to take a photo in that exact spot. And they probably stood there for 20 minutes to get to the front. They don’t tell you the flight on the way there was delayed for 4 hours. They don’t show you the blisters on their heels from the hike to get to the perfect photograph location. Or the hat that blew away on the windy hilltop.
Instagram vs Reality
Trending on social media over the last year or so has been the hashtag Instagram vs reality. The concept? Posting your perfected Insta-worthy image next to the one which actually shows reality.
We live our best lives on social media. No one wants to shout about the rubbish things that happen. No one wants to talk about reality any more. But it’s important to remember life isn’t like a fresh Instagram post.
Here’s what reality looks like. It’s blowing a gale at the top of the Acropolis of Athens. 20 seconds after this photograph was taken I got told off for sitting on the wall. That is what we should be sharing online.