You heard others say it, “do it for the Insta/Snap”. In this world of social media, everyone wants to showcase their life moments to their network of friends and capture all the cool moments they have experienced. Some part of human nature and ego inclines us to want share what you have done with others. These social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat make it so easy for us to do this and share in every single moment we live in. With just a click of a button, we can capture a moment, write a caption, and share it with our entire social network in just a few seconds. Although there are positives of being able to easily share moments with your network, such as connecting and being updated to those far away, we have to also be conscious of the negatives that come with this constant social sharing of life moments as social media consumers.
Social media platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat, have helped perpetuate an environment of social pressure where users are constantly consumed in capturing moments to showcase to others instead of being present in moments. As you scroll through your feed or go through your stories, I can guarantee you will find pictures captured by your friends showcasing the cool hike they went on this weekend or beach they relaxed on for spring break or the sick music artist that performed at the concert they went to. Through these pictures and videos though, sometimes you find some absolute ridiculous photos leaving you thinking thoughts and questions such as, “that’s so crazy”, “where is that”, “how can I get there too”, and “I want a picture like that”.
Being from Hawaii and a lover of nature, when I go on my social feeds there are always pictures of my friends going on hikes that look amazing or going to find hidden secret beach spots that are just stunning. I get a thought in my head, “That’s so cool, I want to go there and check it out!” These are the exact reasons and steps powered by social media that have led to a lot young adults toward a path of dangerous behavior to explore life threatening adventures and capturing these “cool” moments to showcase to their other friends. More than ever, people are “risking it for the ‘gram”.
Instagrams and Snapchats like the one above inspire and motivate people to go out and explore these dangerous locations. People overestimate their abilities to do these hikes and how risky/illegal/hard going to them are. I’ve been on some of these hiking adventures back at home in Hawaii. Sometimes one false misstep or a rogue wave can lead to someone getting hurt really fast. In fact, many examples in the news have popped up recently, such as this one and one, just show how dangerous this mentality social media inspires can get. Not everyone can do crazy things such as diving off cliffs and bridges.
Hiking and other exploration influencers also help inspire risky behavior due to some of the insane and thrilling nature of posts. These channels allow people to visualize the thrill of the adventure and create a need to maybe even try out some of these wild feets. One of my favorite influencers is Unreal Hawaii. They have some amazing posts and stories of their adventures but they do give a caution to followers with a disclaimer of: “It is the responsibility of the reader to use common sense and good judgment by interpreting and using the information to safely enjoy any outdoor activities.” This is something that social media users need to be conscious of.
As an avid adventurer and Instagram user, I love using social media as a source to find new adventures to explore. It makes finding inspiration of some new things to do more convenient. Of course, with this we need to keep our common sense and consciousness when trying to find a new adventure to explore. Just some final thoughts out there for all the adventurers out there. Don’t be caught up in adventuring just to capture a cool picture. Don’t adventure out of your own comfort zone. Don’t be that person who get hurt because they wanted to try do a cool pose at the edge of a cliff. Do your research on your adventure, learn about the difficulty and risks that come with it, and know your own abilities and limits. Most importantly, enjoy the moment of the adventure instead of risking it for the ‘gram.