Is there anything more jealousy-inducing than sitting at your desk on a slow Tuesday afternoon, scrolling through Instagram, and seeing that someone you know is on a Carribean beach?
The perfect trip does not exist firstly because the perfect life does not exist, but also, shit happens when you catch flights – mosquito bites, missed planes, food poisoning, having to wear all your clothes to dodge Easy Jet fees. Anyone who describes their trip as “perfect” or “a dream” is BS-ing you at least a little.
Social media, of course, makes it super easy to create and maintain the image of a perfect trip–or even a perfect life. If you’re like us and follow a plethora of travel accounts on Instagram, it’s easy to idealize traveling and forget that even the girls perfectly posed in paradise with a pineapple paloma in their paw (that was fun) have the same travel troubles as we mere mortals. Like, if you went to Renaissance Island and didn’t take a picture of you pretending to feed a flamingo, did you even Aruba?
These days, social media makes sure we’re interconnected to the point where we’re seeing Fijian beach pictures from the vacation of a girl you haven’t talked to since the seventh grade.
Fast forward another 12 years, and the seventh grade acquaintance in question (Mindy) is doing the tree pose in a rainforest somewhere, pricking her finger on the top of the Louvre pyramid, captioning her Thai elephant reserve pics with quotes she thinks Marilyn Monroe said, and abusing the shit out of the #blessed hashtag on Instagram.
We can’t help but wonder: if Mindy was really having the time of her life, would she feel so compelled to convince her Instagram followers that this was the case? Remember in the early dark days of Facebook when everyone knew that one couple who constantly broke up and reposted that “in a relationship” status? It would then kickstart a nauseating cycle of 3-times-daily posts and updates about how in love they were at the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru. Sigh.
This is just like that. Okay, it’s more glamorous but still annoying. The thing is, the #curatedlife hashtag is totally onto something. Just because someone makes it look like every day is the best day of their lives doesn’t mean it’s not just for show. Here are 11 hints that all is not so well at that all-inclusive resort in a galaxy far far away…
1. Excessive Facebook check-ins
You do not need to check in twice during your layover in Cleveland – we know. You’re sitting in an airport lounge waiting for McDonald’s to open and fighting for an outlet so you can charge your phone to provide more unnecessary updates.
P.S. leave us a comment admitting the thirstiest Facebook check-in you’ve ever done and we’ll admit ours.
2. Instagrams a lot, but doesn’t Snapchat as much
Snapchat is in the moment, so it’s harder to fabricate a dope trip that way, whereas Instagram makes it easier.
3. Only posts one photo when they’re gone for a long time
There are exceptions, but if someone posts 5 pictures a week of their cat, their friends, their new shoes and a whole lotta unicorn frapps when they’re home in Missouri but then suddenly posts one picture for their two weeks in Amsterdam, something doesn’t add up.
4. Flowery quotes about how amazing and life changing everything is
You don’t have to accompany every photo you post with a short novel on the meaning of life.
5. Is still posting throwback photos 6 months later
Because nothing else interesting has happened since. Especially if those throwbacks are buffered with latte art and pictures of cats. There’s a statute of limitations on the #takemeback hashtag.
6. Documents every fucking meal and cocktail they ordered
Don’t get us wrong, 1-2 are acceptable. Okay, 3-4. No more than 4. Especially if you’re in Spain, where there’s really nothing else to eat once you’ve crossed paella and jamon off your list. After two weeks, we’ll know there’s no way you’re still as in love with paella as you were on the first day. Paella hangovers are totally a thing.
Also, after you’ve seen one paella and sangria picture you’ve kinda seen ’em all.
7. Too many selfies
We all know this is a good rule for life, not just vacations. If you’re off doing cool shit, why can’t you leave your phone alone for more than 3 minutes at a time? Don’t you want to conserve battery for more than just your face?
8. Facebook posts about how great their trip was – a month later
You only get the “wish I was still waking up every morning to this view and gelato 3x a day” status once. Negative points if it’s a photo you’ve already posted on all your social media channels.
9. Clings to the same anecdote on repeat
If your friend has told you seven times about the superiority of the baguettes she ate in France once, because she sees, hears or thinks about bread, stage an intervention. Those baguettes were the only good thing in her life.
10. No stories that didn’t make it to social media
…that’s because all the good parts (or with some people, every damn moment) is documented in their social media. It’s like a movie where all the good parts were given away in the previews. If you’ve ever stayed in a hostel you know you haven’t really done it right until there’s at least one story you can’t put on the internet. Or tell your grandma.