Social Media Inspires Travel (And Jealousy)

Ever since tourism became a leisure activity, part of the enjoyment of travel has always been flaunting it in the faces of friends, family, and colleagues, and social media has turned this casual, petty pursuit into a full-on industry.

Most adults who travel today say they were inspired to do so by social media content showing their friends’ adventures, and a significant proportion post that content just to make their online contacts jealous, according to the results of a new survey from the UK.

The survey of 2,000 British adults who travel and use social media by First Choice, which specializes in booking all-inclusive holidays, found that more than two-thirds had been inspired to take a trip after seeing travel-related content from their friends on social media, while three out of ten cited social media as their main influence when making holiday plans.

Indeed, one in five respondents said they sometimes go on social media solely to find their next destination, and the same proportion said they take photos of exotic destinations with the deliberate intention of inspiring envy among social media followers (in part through careful editing of their footage: only one in five photos and 14% of video footage are ever shared online).

No surprise, with everyone competing to go to the same iconic destinations, a lot of those photos end up looking, well, kind of similar.

Some of the most common subjects for holiday-related photos on Brits’ social media include the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, and Disneyland.

Of course, you can’t always assume that the photos you’re seeing are real: last year a separate survey by Oasis Drinks found that 23% of Brits admitted to posting fake holiday-related content on social media.

Furthermore, 10% of Brits said they posted content from someone else pretending that it was their own, and 10% confessed to Photoshopping their vacation photos before posting them to social media.

Finally, 14% of Brits said they chose certain times to post holiday-related content to social media specifically to make other people envious.

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