2016 was the year of the social media humble-brag. This year, we’ve been bitten by the travel blog bug and usher in a new era of Instagram buffoonery.
Millions of British holidaymakers are replacing postcards with ‘boastcards’, according to research, and a lot of these well-travelled social media users are doing it to make the rest of us jealous.
Seven in 10 people admitted they no longer send or receive the traditional paper postcards, preferring to share holiday memories online instead.
While that sounds great – saving the environment and the cost of international postage – 90 per cent of these adults said the only reason they post on social media while on holiday is to boast to friends and family.
A third of those polled purposefully post their holiday snaps online at 9am on a Monday morning – in a deliberate and, frankly, evil attempt to make work colleagues jealous.
Over a third of these show-offs – 34 per cent to be precise – will upload a ‘boastcard’ or two on a Sunday evening when they know most people will be dreading the working week ahead.
Meanwhile, 31 per cent of boastcard-writers attempt to post holiday snaps – picture platters of fresh, Mediterranean cuisine and Bellinis alongside the ‘food porn’ hashtag – when they know colleagues will be suffering from the post-lunch slump.
The Royal Caribbean International survey of 2,000 adults, conducted via OnePoll.com, shows more than half feel made up when their online holiday snaps receive lots of love from people back at home; a damning albeit universal consequence of the virtual world we live in.
One in 10 went as far to say sharing holiday photos was more important to them than a holiday romance, and 12 per cent reckoned it is more important than enjoying amazing holiday weather.
The #olympics are giving us a serious #riodejaneiro obsession, when can we go back!?! ? This snap is from the #santamartafavela which is a fascinating place to visit. It's where #MichaelJackson filmed the music vid for They Don't Really Care About Us and there's even a statue of him in the #favela!! Thanks to @bbc_travel for the recent share!
Incredibly, four in 10 holidaymakers will take their first photograph within two hours of stepping off the plane.
Honestly, by the looks of all the aeroplane wings clogging up my Instagram feed right now, these saints sound social media starved compared to my friends.
Following that, they’ll post on social media up to three times a day to share what a good time they are having, because apparently fun is only fun when everyone else is miserable.
However, despite this love of online bragging, 50 per cent of Brits admit they lack the confidence when it comes to capturing the perfect holiday shot.
So, to enable us all, Royal Caribbean has teamed up with travel experts, social influencers and founders of The Whole World is a Playground, Elaine and Dave Murray, to identify the top ten tips to capture the perfect ‘boastcard’.
Elaine Murray said:
The ultimate social postcard – or what we like to call ‘boastcard’ – starts with choosing the right holiday.
Very few really deliver those stand-out moments that will make your social feed famous; anyone can post a sunset or a sandy beach but to capture the ultimate holiday snap that will generate hundreds of likes, you need to book a holiday that promises to take you on an extraordinary journey right from the start.
Do you like our new wheels? I sure do! ? We came across a colorful car graveyard in the #Solitaire #desert, #Namibia. Dave actually made me sit inside for more pics and I was completely terrified a snake was going to pop up and bite me on the bottom. Since I'm writing this it's safe to assume that didn't happen ??
So, here it is. The top ten best tips from seasoned pros and creative, award-winning travel bloggers to make everyone back home hate you:
1. More for your money
Pick a holiday that will provide a wealth of experiences and destinations worth boasting about.
2. Pick your time
The Golden Hour just after sunrise or just before sunset, creates the most evocative light for holiday photos, so Elaine says, ‘Set that alarm clock!’
3. Shock factor
Jumping for joy at #tablemountain!! We waited three days in #capetown to even catch a glimpse and, when it did appear, we hit up this #lionshead #hike straight away to check out the views! Double tap the pic if you #lovecapetown or if it is on your #travel #bucketlist! ♥ #cityofcapetown #capetownmag #thisissouthafrica #southafrica #instagramcapetown #amazingcapetown
Get out of your comfort zone, go on a giant zip line, sky dive, go surfing! Seek out new experiences to increase maximum boasting potential.
It’s always important to treat the locals with respect, so if there’s a sign saying no photos, don’t take one.
Whether you’re using a phone or a DSLR it pays to edit your photos before posting. A few small tweaks can switch a photo from good to awesome, according to the creative couple.
Hashtags increase the reach of your images. For Instagram Elaine uses three or four in the main photo caption followed by more in a comment below. She added: “Why not try a shameless #Boastcard?”
7. Location, location, location
Thursday's be like… This is our all time favorite infinity pool from our travels! The glistening gold #pagoda is on top of #mountpopa in #Myanmar and, later in the day, we climbed the 777 steps to the top surrounded by more monkeys than we care to remember! What do you reckon, are you a fan of infinity pools? Any faves we should check out on our travels?
Elaine advises you should always tag the location of a photo when posting. This instantly increases the reach allowing others visiting to find your photo.
A maximum of two Instagram pictures a day works well without jamming up your followers’ feeds, according to the couple, while Instagram stories are a great way to add a post about your adventure.
9. Do your research
To get the best shots you need to seek out the best photo locations, so plan ahead, Elaine concluded.
Ben Bouldin, Royal Caribbean Managing Director UK & Ireland, commented:
The beauty of the ‘boastcard’ is it’s instantaneous.
All our ships have high-speed broadband, so the days of having to wait to pull into port to send a physical postcard are over; people can now post from the side of the pool in the middle of the Caribbean, no postbox necessary.
With any luck, if our obsession with social media continues, and we all follow these top tips, we’ll never have to travel or experience anything for ourselves ever again!
That’ll save money on the holiday, let alone the cost of a stamp.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.