Social media has completely transformed the way people travel. This past weekend I went to Italy in which I explored Rome and Florence. While I had suggestions and knew of the main places I needed to see while I was there, Instagram was my personal travel agent.
Instagram was created in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. It is explained that “The main idea is to help users post Polaroid-like photos that they can tweak with filters, and share videos with maximum time of 15 seconds. This way, people could get a glimpse into their world—with creativity in check.” From this idea, instagram is born. In April Facebook bought Instagram and its popularity has continued to increase. Today, Instagram has over 150 million users and 16 billion photos are being shared, 55 million photos posted, and 1.2 billion likes every day.
Social media varies depending on generation to generation, but personally Instagram is my favorite.
While traveling I use avidly use Instagram. The use of locations on friends pictures, following specific accounts that are geared towards traveling, and the explore page, Instagram planned my entire weekend. For a girl who has a hard time making sure her suitcase is under 50 pounds, packing is never easy. By following city accounts and looking at specific hashtags, I knew exactly the right attire was to be work on my adventures of the weekend. While being emerged in new cultures, I want to try and fit in as much as possible and for me that begins with the outfit.
While in Rome, I knew the Trevi Fountain was a must hit, I did not know where to eat after it. Instagram was my savior. Simply by typing in the location of the fountain, I discovered the best plate of pasta I have ever eaten.
While on the train to Florence, my Instagram was in full speed. I usually begin by going through my new feed and checking on my friends. One of the main differences I have noticed between Instagram and other social media sites is their uses. Instagram is more selective. In my experience, Facebook is used to update friends and family on their life. This means adding all 40 pictures from their trip and checking in to locations they are traveling. Snapchat is seen as instant so it is used multiple times a day to show what is currently going on around you. Instagram is the most selective. Pictures are carefully chosen, captions are well thought out, and likes are highly considered. Thus, for a picture to be posted on Instagram, you know it is a must hit spot.
After posting these pictures to my own Instagram account I received multiple comments and direct messages asking about the food and explaining their jealously. Without Instagram, I would not have stumbled upon the most beautiful heart of pizza to ever exist. Next stop is Prague, I better get stalking.