On 18 July, South African rapper Kiernan Forbes, better known as AKA, posted a tweet on Instagram’s influence on consumerism. “You go on Instagram, and it legit sucks you in on every level. You scroll and scroll and scroll and click and click and click, your mind completely, devouring everything” he said. “Every bag, every holiday, every car, every new product that you are told you need in order to feel complete.”
As far as travel goes, data has showed that for millennials (ages 18-34), social media has become a crucial part in planning and booking one’s holiday. In fact, according to online publisher and learning platform Smart Insights, “55% of people like social media pages related to trips they are planning,” while 52% of users on Facebook confirmed that they had been inspired by travel content shared by their friends.
You go on Instagram, and it legit sucks you in on every level. You scroll and scroll and scroll and click and click and click, your mind completely devouring everything. Every bag, every holiday, every car, every new product that you are told you NEED in order to feel complete.
— AKA (@akaworldwide) July 18, 2018
Unfortunately, a recent study by Allianz Global Assistance, a provider of travel insurance products, shows that millennial social media audiences may be rather let down by the reality behind the travel posts of which they’re envious. In their 10th annual 2018 Vacation Confidence Index*, data revealed that 36% of millennials posted deceptive holiday content that resulted in their vacations looking far more whimsical than they actually were.
A desire to make others envious is the motivator behind 65% of the respondents in the study, who admitted to partaking in the act dubbed “social media deception”. Those who did so in order to compete with other users accounted for 51% of the correspondents.
Some 63% of millennials shared their holidays on social media to look back on their trip and 58% and 52% of millennials posted pictures in which they or their surroundings looked best respectively.
The report shows that men are 12% more likely to share holiday content to make friends and family envious than their female counterparts. Some 22% of men did so to compete with others, while only 8% of women followed suit.
The trend is not limited to millennials however, as the study shows that 15% of Gen X’ers (ages 35-54) and 5% of Baby Boomers (ages 55+) where guilty of the same.
“Social media changes the way we live, work, play and of course, travel. As millennials continue to lead trends, it will be interesting to see if social deception becomes a more common and even acceptable activity when portraying vacations to friends, family and followers,” says Dan Durazo, Director of Communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA.