In an age where our self-worth is often quantified by the number of followers, likes, shares, etc. we get on our social media platforms, the need to represent ourselves in a certain way has never been stronger.
We’re all celebrities now – at least according to our Instagram accounts.
But, in the least-surprising revelation of 2018, these photos and posts don’t always tell the whole truth. Or very much of it at all: According to a new study conducted by Allianz Global Assistance for their 10th annual Vacation Confidence Index, more than a third of Millennials (the generation comprised of people ages 18-34) will intentionally post pictures on social media accounts to make their vacation seem much cooler than it really is.
The study also found that 15% of Gen X-ers (those aged between 35-54), and 5% of Baby Boomers (those aged 55 and up) are guilty as well of posting misleading pictures as well.
My photos are cooler than yours
There are two main reasons why this happens, according to the study: 65% of people reported that its done to make their followers jealous, and 51% do it simply because everyone else does – you have to keep up, after all.
And, perhaps surprisingly (or perhaps not), men were found to engage in this behavior more often than women.
Millennials post the most vacation pictures of the groups studied by far. But, in line with generational stereotypes, the reasons for posting pictures in the first place were quite varied; catering to unique and individual personalities: 63% want to be able to look back on their holidays with (manufactured or not) fondness, 58% only share because they’re sharing the photos where they look the best, 52% wanted to share the landscape in the best light possible, and 37% were only to make other people jealous, and 27% were to keep up with the standard.
Interesting to note, however, is that this doesn’t seem to affect the people who view the pictures: Most people trust that the vacation shots shared by others, especially when they know the person sharing personally, are authentic and that their friends are indeed having the time of their lives.
The full study can be found here.