More than one third (36 percent) of Millennials (ages 18-34) have aimed to deceive their followers by posting social media vacation images that make trips look better than they are, according to the 10th annual 2018 Vacation Confidence Index*, released by Allianz Global Assistance. The study found that 15 percent of Gen X’ers (ages 35 – 54) and five percent of Baby Boomers (ages 55+) have done the same.
Of those who confessed to this social media deception, 65 percent do so in an attempt to make others envious, while 51 percent use it as an opportunity to compete with others who do the same. Of all respondents, guilty of social media deception or not, men are slightly more likely than women to post vacation photos on social media to make friends/family jealous (men: 28 percent and women: 16 percent) and compete with others (men: 22 percent and women: eight percent).
Millennials may be known for their attachment to technology while sleeping, working and traveling, but the new report sheds light on how and why they use social media to document and inspire their wanderlust. Millennials are more likely than any other age group to document their travel on social media, but the reasons for doing so vary: 63 percent post about their vacations on social media to look back on the trip with rose-colored glasses; 58 percent to share photos in which they look best; 52 percent to post photos in which their surroundings look best; 37 percent to make friends/family jealous; and 27 percent to compete with others who post pictures of their own vacations.
Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers are not immune to the lure of social media in order to: look back on a trip (Gen X’ers: 46 percent and Baby Boomers: 23 percent); share photos in which they look best (Gen X’ers: 45 percent and Baby Boomers: 20 percent) and in which their surroundings look best (Gen X’ers: 44 percent and Baby Boomers: 15 percent); provoke jealousy (Gen X’ers: 20 percent and Baby Boomers: nine percent) and compete with others (Gen X’ers: 14 percent and Baby Boomers: three percent).
Ironically, those who have used social media in a deceptive manner are more likely to trust social media posts from users, brands and media. Of the respondents who posted on social media to make their vacation look better than reality, 87 percent trust posts from people they personally know; 69 percent trust those from brands; 69 percent trust media organizations/news outlets and 60 percent trust social users they do not know personally, including celebrities and social media influencers. Of all respondents, whether or not they’ve engaged in social media deception, 86 percent trust the accuracy of social media posts from people they know personally; 55 percent from brands; 46 percent from media organizations/news outlets and 31 percent from users they do not know.
A video highlighting the survey findings can be viewed here.
With the role social media plays in the lives of Millennials, more than half (51 percent) feel that social media posts influence their own travel planning choices. Three in ten Americans of all age groups admit their travel planning choices are somewhat or very influenced by social media posts. Despite the prevalence of social media influencers working with destinations and brands, these respondents are still most influenced by posts of friends and family (63 percent), over posts from media and news organizations (11 percent), users they do not know personally (nine percent) or brands (eight percent).
Half (49 percent) of Americans say Facebook is the social media platform that most inspires them to travel, followed by Instagram (35 percent), Pinterest (19 percent), Twitter (13 percent) and Snapchat (13 percent). More than a third (34 percent) say that social media platforms do not inspire them to travel. Women are more likely to be inspired by Pinterest (25 percent of woman compared to 12 percent of men) and men by Twitter (20 percent of men compared to seven percent of women).
“Social media changes the way we live, work, play and of course, travel. As millennials continue to lead trends, it will be interesting to see if social deception becomes a more common and even acceptable activity when portraying vacations to friends, family and followers,” says Dan Durazo, director of communications, Allianz Global Assistance USA. “Whether you plan to make your vacation look better than it was or not, the right travel insurance policy can protect you from the unexpected things that may go wrong – and your social media followers will never need to know that the trip wasn’t as perfect as it looked on Instagram.”
SOCIAL MEDIA DECEPTION
Have you ever posted images to your social media account(s) to make your vacations look better than they actually are in reality?
Yes, more than once
Yes, but just once
I don’t use social media accounts
I try to make friends and family back home envious by posting pictures of my vacation on social media
I try to compete with others who post pics of their vacations on social media by posting my own, better photos
I post pics of my vacation on social media so that I can look back on my trip with rose-colored glasses once I’m home
I take lots of pictures of myself on vacation and only post the shots where I look best
I take lots of pictures of myself on vacation and only post the shots where my surroundings look best
Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance** through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies, other travel suppliers and directly to consumers. For more information on Allianz Global Assistance and the policies offered for travelers, please visit: http://www.allianztravelinsurance.com.
*Methodology: These are findings of an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance. For this survey, a sample of 1,005 Americans from the Ipsos I-Say panel was interviewed from May 2 – 5, 2018. The precision of online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the results are accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all American adults been polled. Quota sampling and weighting were employed in order to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Credibility intervals are wider among subsets of the population.
Allianz Global Assistance USA
Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company. We provide insurance to 35 million customers annually and are best known for our Allianz Travel Insurance plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers tuition insurance, event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for property and casualty insurers and credit card companies.
**Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply to all plans. Plans are available only to U.S. residents. Not all plans are available in all jurisdictions. For a complete description of the coverage and benefit limits offered under your plan, carefully review your plan’s Letter of Confirmation/Declarations and Certificate of Insurance/Policy. Insurance coverage is underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated “A-” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101-C series or 101-P series, or Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Affiliated Companies (One Nationwide Plaza, Columbus, OH 43215-2200), under Form Nos. SRTC 2000 and NSHTC 2500, each rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., depending on state of residence. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are marks of AGA Service Company or its affiliates. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of these plans and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson Insurance Company. Non-insurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company.
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