Few days ago, I chanced upon a critical article, curiously entitled “How Instagram is ruining travel” by David Annand. Although I am an Instagram lover and I disliked such a dramatic title, I found it very interesting as it gave me good sparks to reflect on. The writer hilariously describes his random encounter with a few Instagram influencers in a desert spot, busy taking pictures of theirselves, showing impractical outfit, immaculate make up and not-so-spontaneous poses. He explains how this Instagram trend has already changed the way we travel: he affirms it doesn’t encourage us to seat down, appreciate sights or encounter others, but only feeds our egos.
Although the article might contain a certain truth about how we sometimes forget to enjoy the moment because we want to get the perfect shot, I have to disagree with the author about the negative impact of the famous social network on travel.
I had barely finished to read it and my fingers were already hitching.
I have to start by saying that I am NOT an Instagram influencer (at the moment, my account counts less than 500 followers) and I am not even the kind of girl who will have a shooting in the desert with perfect make up and posh clothes. Having said that, here are 5 reasons why – in my opinion – Instagram is NOT ruining travel and instead has positive effects on it.
- INSTAGRAM INSPIRES YOU
Instagram is an irreplaceable source of inspirations about places to visit. Just before heading to a new destination, I check it out on Instagram and I always get good ideas about sights and how to get there. Moreover, I have often become aware of incredible spots that required just short detours on my way to the next destination and that were worth seeing: I would have missed them if I hadn’t seen those Instagram pictures.
- INSTAGRAM DEEPENS YOUR PERSONAL INTERESTS
As you know, Instagram search results are based on your likes and for this reason it mainly shows you pictures and videos of subjects you love the most. For example, if you are into eco friendly adventures or volunteering projects, the first results on your home page will be about images and profiles of users who share these interests with you. If you are more into luxury travel and fashion, it will show you a beautiful tanned model in a famous designer’s bikini laying on the infinity pool of a 5 stars resort. If you are backpacking across Asia and can’t help falling in love with food markets, then it shows you pictures of the street food discoveries of other foodies.
In other words, Instagram is a filter that allows you to focus on what you love the most when travelling.
It is even better than TV, and somehow I believe it will be the TV of the future.
- INSTAGRAM ENCOURAGES YOU
As a solo traveller, I found in Instagram a powerful motivational well. When feeling a bit scared about going somewhere on my own, it was reassuring to see that others did it before. It was like: “I’m not the only one. If they have made it, then I can make it too. Look, there is nothing to be afraid of.” That is even more true if you are a female plus a solo traveller. You might find precious advice from other women who have already done the trip and pack your bag with a bit more enthusiasm.
- INSTAGRAM CONNECTS YOU WITH FELLOW TRAVELLERS & LOCALS
You can meet bloggers, travel influencer or simply other fellow travellers who shares the same passions, even locals based right in your next destination. If they have their own website, it is usually mentioned on the account page and if you find the contents interesting and useful, you may become a follower or subscribe to the newsletters to stay updated. If you are looking for advice or want to share your last travel experience, you can do it, without needing to be a journalist or a travel specialist. And this will inspire others to do the same.
Sharing is one of the most important benefits of travelling and exploring this beautiful world.
- INSTAGRAM ENHANCES YOUR TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY SKILLS
By following the accounts of professional video makers and travel photographers, you can steal with the eyes precious tips and learn more about how to make decent pics on your next trip. Of course you won’t become a master in photography only by following Steve McCurry’s official account, but by analysing how others express their sensations and emotions, you will maybe find out how to express feelings with your personal own style.
Instagram shows us different manners of travelling and embraces any target and preference, in fact it is created by contents uploaded in real time by millions of users. Basically, what Instagram does is not really different than what travel magazines and TV channels do since long time ago. Plus it is independent, in real time and free.
? Of course, I can’t wait to hear from you. Share your opinion using #gowithdice ?