A debate that started on Twitter led me to thinking about how many people do consider how ‘Insta-worthy’ their next travel location is. Whilst on first consideration it may be odd because why would you consider your next destination based on the photos you’re going to take for a social media app that falsifies what life is really like? But no, it’s true people do and Schofields surveyed 1000 people aged 18-33 about what their reasons for choosing to go on holiday were and an astonishing 40.1% said it was due to how ‘Instagrammable’ the holiday would be.
The head of Schofields talks about how more and more millennials are making decisions because of their life online which, as a millennial, makes me slightly worried. More and more, I’m trying to create a balance between my online life and my offline life, although with college that becomes increasingly easier as a phone is a prevalent source of distraction. Needless to say, everyone’s online presence does seem to be something that is increasingly dominant and for a lot of people is constantly needing editing or changing in order to keep up with everyone else, myself included.
Even down to the way that hotels and businesses have changed their approach to tourists in order to suit the social media millennial. An article by CBS news highlighted this to me and whilst I find it hard to believe that businesses and long standing hotels are changing to suit social media platforms such as Instagram, it doesn’t really surprise me due to how accessible it is for someone to see it online on someone else’s account, note how aesthetically pleasing it is and then go themselves. For my 18th birthday I would love to go to Sketch in London for afternoon tea if it wasn’t so expensive but one of the reasons for this isn’t because the food looks amazing but because the gallery looks gorgeous and even down to the incredibly Instagrammable toilet pods. It isn’t just about travel but our way of life and thinking why are we going somewhere and our purpose for doing so, even if basing a holiday on that decision is another extreme.
So, what about myself? Nearly 18, finishing A-Levels next year with the prospect of a summer of travelling (if I can save enough for it), so am I bothered about where I go? And I think that I’m not, I’d want a location with some set criteria: good nightlife, not too expensive, easy for a group of people and not too far to travel so probably somewhere in Europe. Ah… but is there something missing? I think there is, and I hate to admit it but thinking about whether a place is ‘Instagrammable’ or ‘good for the ‘gram’ does factor into the decision.
Then I think, it isn’t that it’s Instagrammable as such but that it is a nice and pretty location. I wouldn’t necessarily want to visit somewhere that wasn’t pretty so the Instagram photos just seem to be a consequence of that. It isn’t that I’ve actively sought out a place to go to because I want an Instagram picture. I may choose it because it’s a pretty place but it doesn’t mean that my brain has already started wiring itself up for a series of Instagram photo shoots, even if I must acknowledge that I have at some point put up a caption along the lines of ‘the most Instagrammable place ever!!!!’ or something just as cheesy, but it isn’t like I wouldn’t go to a place if I couldn’t get an Instagram snapshot, now those places are for the Instagram stories… (is the millennial mindset proving frustrating at all?)
As a blogger, when I’m out with friends or on holiday, there is always something in the back of my mind that’s thinking: would this be good to shoot for my blog? And it could actually take the fun out of just going out and not taking a phone or camera; plus my bag would be a lot lighter. I also think, going back to film photos, film captures the beauty of any place, anywhere and I think it really highlights that one shouldn’t choose a location because it may look good on Instagram.
I do think it is true that people do go to places because they happen to be Instagrammable, although not so much spending the money to go abroad and take photos but a nice café or restaurant, or going to a nice secluded beach just so you can get the perfect Instagram shot. It’s almost like it is a rite of passage to consider your destination in terms of the photo opportunities that it could provide which isn’t a sustainable mindset. Sometimes you just want to live life and appreciate the view without worrying about what your followers will think.
Do you think that people choose places based on how Instagrammable they are or is it just a myth? Have you ever chosen anywhere based on the Instagram opportunities available and would you in the future? They’re all questions that are food for thought and ones that I’ll definitely be thinking about when I’m booking my next holiday.