Think about a vacation where you remember checking your Facebook/Instagram/Twitter (given that you have at least one) and you see most of your friends travelling and posting their numerous activities, every minute and every day.
We recently visited a place and my friend just can’t stop posting pictures on Instagram and tag me (but obvious) and after a while, Instagram notifications started pouring in. With each notification or “likes” came a sense of relief, joy and fulfilment. On one hand, I recognized how stupid I was, yet there I was admiring the compliments from the strangers on the internet. So, stupid!
When we travel, we travel the experience while walking the streets of Madrid or any other city and there is actually no need of Facebook verification! I feel travel should not be interrupted by the constant pinging of phones. This actually lessens the sole purpose of the travel. You don’t even take yourself out of any place, instead, you are just moving your body to a different part of the world and your brain is still focused on your phone.
Personally, even I have been guilty of the same. But I never thought about it in this way, before I came across the word “Travel Narcissist”.
I think many travel-minded social media users share almost similar sentiments. We travel to gain lovely experiences, to see and feel the reality of the world, the beauty and the struggles, the people, the landscapes, the wildlife and the list goes on. We actually seek to form long-lasting experiences and memories so that we can say we truly lived to the fullest. Isn’t it?
But my question is- why are we so concerned with showing off our trips and travel experiences to others? For some, like, paid travel bloggers, there may be an obvious monetary motivation. That’s fair enough. But what about the others?
There are many travel bloggers these days having a huge and loyal fan following. These travellers do anything to get a perfect shot of their travel experience and it’s their job to do so.
You might be thinking why these travellers or bloggers want that particular perfect shot? Because they make a living showing off. Yes, seriously, their entire business model centers on their ability to reveal how splendid their travels are, and in return obtain sponsorships.
They are professional travel narcissists!
As a result, their followers strive to follow this lifestyle to travel just for the sake of proving how awesome their life is.
Travel can give back as much as you put in. Only if we are able to shut ourselves out from the social media world, and focus on the tropical rainforests in Bolivia, where we can find deeper understanding and peace that comes from a new country and culture.
The insight dictates that the travel makes us more interesting and is an essential ingredient of life well-lived. But somewhere amidst the collision of widening global curiosity, insidious technology hides an inescapable sense that travel is losing its capacity to make us wonder!
Do you think you could take a trip and not post about it on social media? Do you simply enjoy your experience in life without the desire for validation through acknowledgement? If so, I envy and truly look up to you!