Social media sells you a dream. A nice kind that depicts people you admire doing things you wish you had the courage to do. Starting a business. Seeing the world. In a loving relationship. Then there’s the dark side. The dark side of social media that truly sells you unrealistic, highly edited dreams. The kind that if you aren’t discerning, may lead you into a life of debt, failed relationships and in a constant state of questioning the true success of your life.
Travel social media can do this to you. As I enter into my own realm of a traveler on Instagram, I can see the pressure of fake dreams. I don’t want to perpetuate them but I do want to encourage others to see the world. I want them to know that it’s possible to go someplace you always wanted or do something you always wanted. It’s not for just one type of person.
In the photo above, I’m surrounded by bluebells in South London. It’s not edited or artificial. It’s a real, one of a kind moment for me. A moment that I cherish but one that comes with a full story that led me to that point. What story you ask? It’s too long for this blog post, but know that it took ALOT to get me there. Wrestling with myself, making decisions, unconscious choices and more. A sum of things you might say. But what I needed to get me there was to stay motivated to travel and Instagram helped me do it.
At times it made me jealous; when influencers flaunted rather than informed but most times, I was in awe. I was in awe of people younger than me and older than me getting around the globe and making money. I was impressed at how people with lower socio-economic backgrounds than myself financed their journeys. I was inspired by the culture and color of life that TV and film had lacked. Instagram made me excited. And certain influencers kept my love of exploring going. They provided me with eye candy and substance.
How do you stay motivated though and ignore the fakes? Follow influencers that you feel share more than just curated stories of amazing things that they always indulge in. Look out for people who only try to have you sign up for something or just do giveaways. You want people who engage and who share useful tips. Keep the thought in the back of your mind that everything on Instagram isn’t real. Find influencers that embody you and speak to your fears and doubts; when you see them achieve, you realize it’s possible.
Those are just my thoughts but in the age of Instagram dreams, make sure you see through the fake ones if you can’t handle it and stay true to the authentic ones.
Let me know what you think in the comments? Am I wildly off base?