After getting a few out-of-place comments on my Instagram, from fellow travelers, I felt the need to write this post. Primarily, I want to address the issue of people commenting either on a picture that makes me feel that they merely glanced at my profile. However, this will also cover other issues I’ve been meaning to discuss/vent about.
The previous paragraph alluded to it, but this post was inspired by something that happened to me a few weeks ago. I had posted my itinerary to go to Kaliningrad (Russia’s enclave by the Baltic; I’m super excited for it!), and then a few days later I had a guy comment, saying, “nice photo”. On the one hand, I understand that he wanted to say something nice. However, it was vague as to what he liked. Did he think my itinerary is good? (Spoiler alert: it is.) Did he mean to comment on another one of my pictures? Look, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t comment on others’ social media, but at least don’t make it feel like it was a token gesture. Or, at least have your compliment make sense. I’ve also had people comment on non-travel related pictures with things along the line of, “hey, awesome picture, we love your travels!”. Again, I appreciate the compliments, but you could at least have picked one of my actual photos featuring me somewhere exotic. After all, you’re already on my page and as far as I know, it wouldn’t kill you to scroll a few seconds more to pick out relevant content to add your thoughts to. Although I genuinely do appreciate the nice comments, I confess to feeling baffled when I see out-of-place comments. Consider this my plea to everybody who makes the decision to follow my mediocre Instagram account: I love you, but validate my travel photography on the same photos, not on completely unrelated ones. Thank you kindly for the support, and cheers.
Since I’m also on the topic of social media, something that bothers me is seeing people with large amounts of followers throwing up a lot of hashtags; it seems like overkill, if not for the fact that people are likely to already follow you. For those of you who may not understand this, a hashtag is something that entices people to your profile, as anybody can click on them and be brought to every single post under those words/categories. Yet again I may be a bit harsh here, as I understand that there are some people who are permanently traveling rely on clicks for revenue. However, I feel that your content should be the biggest attraction, rather than relying on an obnoxious amount of tags. Yes, this may be an unpopular opinion, but I will stick with it. Cut it out, por favor.
My third point is that I feel some people beat a destination to death with their pictures. As with most of this post/my blog, this is a very subjective thing. What I mean here is that people post what seems to be the same exact set of pics of the same exact location several days in a row. (Cough cough the Maldives cough cough.) Yes, every location is gorgeous, but the aesthetics sees to mask the originality of travel photography. Again, I want to make the distinction between a highly photogenic place compared with a generic spot that rakes in likes. Case in point: Iceland’s gorgeous landscapes. As someone who loves all things Iceland, I follow quite a few accounts dedicated to the country, and the scenery is part of this. So, it may seem like I’m being hypocritical. Not so. I’ve seen many different angles and perspectives on Iceland where it feels like I’ve simultaneously seen them while feeling fresh and exciting. In the case of the Maldives, to use another example, it feels like, “Oh hey, I’ve seen that same hut with the same gorgeous hue of water twenty times before.” It is a nice hut situated on some of the clearest water known to man, but there’s a finite amount of times you see this before thinking that the owner of the account doesn’t have much else to display. Hence, my gripe.
In conclusion, I may seem like a semi-deranged lad whose travel exploits don’t warrant this post. Yes, I conclude that whomever is thinking this may have some valid criticisms of me. That doesn’t stop me from espousing these ideas, because I’m sure you’ve inevitably had something similar happen to you.
In case you’re curious, my Instagram is CSmeeth, where I try to post pics about travel, but it mostly contains stuff about my life as an ESL teacher in Russia. Bonus points will be awarded if you reference this post at some point in the future.