Instagram. I have such a love/hate relationship with this social media platform. I love it for the beautiful pictures, and the ease of sharing my travels with others; but like me, she ain’t perfect.
So I’ve decided to break down the dreams and nightmares of Instagram, from a travellers perspective.
1. Instagram expands your bucket list
I have seriously added so many new locations to my travel bucket list, thanks to Instagram. When I see something beautiful, different, or unique posted by another traveller; I want to go there and experience it for myself. Honestly, I have visited plenty of new places simply because I saw a photo of it on Instagram.
2. It expands your bucket list
There are only so many places you can visit in one weekend/holiday/overseas adventure/lifetime. As my list keeps growing, my time gets shorter, and our holidays get more and more filled up with amazing sights and activities! I’m not complaining, I just get a little overwhelmed by the choices and locations at times. You want to be able to see and do it all, but it’s pretty impossible. And just when you think you’ve crossed one item off your list, you spy another ten the next time you scroll through your feed.
3. It helps you to connect with other travellers
I have ‘met’ so many fellow wanderlusters online, largely through Instagram. I love to see where other people go, what they get up to, and feel like I am there with them when I look at their pictures. At least 70% of the people I follow on Instagram are travellers, whether by profession or hobby, and that definitely inspires me to want to see more of the world. Maybe in some small way, I am inspiring them a little, too.
4. You want to follow ALL of the travellers
One of the good/bad things about following someone is that Instagram will then suggest another three people with a similar profile. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve ended up down a rabbit hole or two, checking out and following the suggestions offered! Although it’s great to connect with people all over the world, it’s damn near impossible to keep up with everyone’s new posts. Not to mention the fact that your feed gets way out of control.
5. Instagram can help you to find out what a place is like before you go there
It’s so easy to look up a destination on Instagram, and see all the different photographs that have been taken there. This gives you a pretty good impression about a certain landmark, tourist attraction, or location before you see it for yourself. If you know you’re going to be short on time, a quick look on Instagram may be able to help you decide if it’s worth making your way there, or if you should go someplace else instead.
6. Unfortunately, you generally only get to see the highlights
With that being said, I’m sure we’re all guilty of only posting our best photos. And with all the filters and edits available on our phones these days, it’s relatively easy to make even the worst photo look pretty decent. We don’t see the 10-hour journey to get there, the fight that happened seconds before the photo was taken, or the pile of rubbish next to the monument. We see the ‘highlight reel’, rather than the ‘behind-the-scenes’.
7. It helps you to broaden your photography skills
Instagram has definitely helped me to take and post better photos. My feed has changed and morphed over time as I’ve experimented with different compositions, themes, and camera settings. I want to post great photos, not only for the feedback I get, but also because I take pride in what I share with others.
8. Someone will ‘always’ have better photos than you
No matter how great of a person or photographer you are, someone on Instagram will always post photos that you think are better than yours. That’s just real life. It’s best not to think about it, or compare, and just be proud of what you’re sharing. At the very least, you can use them as inspiration to take and share better photos yourself.
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel” – Steve Furtick
What are your thoughts on Instagram?
Do you use it regularly?
Have you ever used it to help plan your next adventure?