EVEN those who consider themselves modest and humble are not immune to a boast from time to time. There can be a very fine line between coming across as conceited and simply giving yourself some praise.
Yet according to a new study conducted by Hotels.com, young travelers are purposefully using the social media tag “travel brag” to entice followers to their pictures and posts.
The study revealed Indian millennials are into travel bragging on social media, with the intention of attracting Internet fame and stimulating praise from their followers.
But is this normal? Well, according to the research of two neuroscientists from Harvard University, talking about ourselves releases dopamine which controls how our brains deal with rewards and pleasure.
This resonates with 40 percent of the study respondents, who admitted to spending at least four hours a day on their phones while traveling, and often being more enamored with social media than the glorious scenes around them.
It seems food pictures scored highly for getting ‘likes’ and getting that dopamine swirling around our brains, as 64 percent of posts were culinary related with enticing hashtags such as “foodporn”.
With the availability of social media platforms, editing apps and the selfie stick, it can be difficult to get away from the urge to take selfies and post about your travels.
Eighty-five percent of the 9,000 respondents from across 30 countries said they would be more inclined to upload a selfie than a cityscape picture. Thirty-one percent of Indians surveyed admitted they would rather travel with a smart-device than a partner, and care more about the battery life on their phones than arguing with a partner.
Could travel bragging be the end of romance? Most definitely not, as more than 2.6 million announced their marriage engagements on Facebook in 2014 alone.
Bragging, humble or otherwise, makes us feel valued and gives others ample opportunity to praise us for choosing a delicious dinner or lying on a beach for three days while all your followers work a nine-to-five and eat plain roti for dinner…
Social media platforms allow us to be keyboard warriors and say the things we might not necessarily say in person, but there are ways of bragging that will not alienate your followers and potentially lead you down a path to fewer friends.
How to be a good travel bragger
1. Post something noteworthy
Post something you would admire and want to see, with cultural or historical significance. Something people can relate to, or perhaps have never seen before – such as this picture of a giant clam:
2. Know your audience, appeal to them and their budgets
3. Learn from the outrageous braggers out there
Don’t post a daily countdown until your holiday, unless it includes a picture of a golden retriever in a yellow rain mac.
4. Make your post fun
For example, if you are climbing the Great Wall of China in summer, post an expectation versus reality shot, and let your audience know you will not be looking glam after scaling the cobbled heights.
5. Avoid cocktail selfies, everyone knows what a Mojito looks like… but if you didn’t, now you do
6. Definitely don’t use the caption: “My office for the day”
7. Hotdog legs are so 2017, start a new travel trend. Why not get #ElbowOrBum trending?