While social media plays a major role in everyday life, it has also made a huge impact on travel. Think about it. How long do you spend on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram every day? If you say less than an hour on average, you are in the minority. So how does social media impact travel? Let’s take a quick look at some of the main ways in which social media has impacted the industry.
Actually, social media has had such an impact on our lives that anyone pursuing masters in counseling programs spends much time investigating how social media affects our emotional wellbeing and what consequences, if any, it has on our relationships. From the music we listen to, to the clothing we wear and the way in which we get an education, social media is now becoming the new ‘peer pressure.’ The only difference is that the ‘peer’ comes in the form of a digital presence across the internet. Social media has been the emotional downfall of many, but to others it has brought them a new lease on life in the form of new friends and romantic interests.
One of the most interesting ways that social media is impacting travel is in our ability to log online and meet up with fellow travelers following a similar path. A quick hashtag search on Twitter will find thousands of people tweeting from a location you intend to visit and with just a short twitter conversation you could be meeting up with someone headed to the same destination.
The amount of students who pursue an online degree is continuing to rise. Social media makes it possible to meet up with new friends online even when you are studying! Those pursuing counseling degrees online know the importance of socialization and so they encourage others to get social. Humans are social by nature and if we were in the feral ‘animal kingdom,’ we would travel around in herds or flocks. That’s what social media enables us to do without actually taking friends and family along with us.
With webcams we can actually take our friends and family to the exotic places we are visiting and they can be there with us as we see new things for the first time and meet new people. No, we don’t have money to take everyone with us, so social media is the next best thing. We can interact with commercial travel sites, join local pages while we are away and share in real time with those we’ve left behind. In fact, rather than discouraging us from traveling because we can see everything online, social media is giving us a desire to see all the places we’ve seen online. How is social media impacting travel? The only thing it can’t do is pay for our trip, but with a computer and a bit of blogging skill, it can even do that too!
After seeing the social media of other travel bloggers, where would you like to go?