Now that summer has officially arrived, people are yearning to go on vacations to get away, relieve their stress, seek adventure, and enjoy their ‘best’ Instagram life…? Unfortunately, this is completely true. Instagram has become one of the most popular social networking sites that it would be weird if you didn’t have an Instagram account at this age in society.
Why Instagram Photos Ruined Our Vacation
I recently went on a vacation with a close friend of mine that looked at our trip as one big photo shoot instead of experiencing the adventure with me. For my friend, taking 40-plus shots of photos just to get the ‘perfect’ shot was not a problem at all. Even though I am down for taking pictures to capture memories and even share them on social media, her constant action was not acceptable at all.
Most of the trip was pre-planned just for Instagram as well. She searched for all aesthetic, ‘photo-worthy’ places and made a list to take photos at. She even pre-coordinated certain outfits beforehand for these shots that she envisioned to share with her followers. We were ‘want-to-be’ influencers but without any influence.
I agree Instagram is a great way of sharing awesome photos that make you feel good. But I believe – like on our vacation – ‘it’s not about capturing a genuine smile in a spontaneous moment anymore. It’s about faking it, staging it, and trying to look like you’re having the time of your life even when you aren’t.’ Soon I realized that I wasn’t enjoying myself taking pictures all the time because I couldn’t appreciate the value of our trip more. What my friend had made of the trip was unforgivable, even though I still love her. ‘I wanted to remember the views with my own eyes, not looking at it through a screen and clicking a button over and over again. I wanted to really soak up every aspect of our trip and validate it through those moments instead of only feeling good about what we were doing and where we were through ‘likes.’
As a final gesture to enjoy our vacation solely without ‘Instagram’ on our last day on an all-day boat adventure, I suggested we both leave our phones (cameras) in the room. I wanted us to discover and make memories for ourselves without the necessity of capturing content to share with others on certain social apps. Although it must have been hard for my friend to give in to my request, I commend her for her effort. Every moment was captured and given attention to by us, only, not by cameras. It was the best day yet on our trip. During the time when we would have been taking photos for posts, we instead listened to music. It was very soothing and relaxing. ‘While I don’t think my friend will abandon her photo-shoot-planning ways anytime soon, I think she maybe learned her lesson: it doesn’t have to be constant, some things are meant to be experienced without a camera, and that some friends are worth compromising for.’