When Instagram Culture Ruins a Vacation

Excerpt from this article:

I WAS LEANING against a craggy rock on one of Mallorca’s more out-of-the-way beaches when I noticed a man perched atop a low cliff above the crystalline sea, slowly moving his outstretched hands horizontally from left to right.

“Ooh, that’s so cool,” I said, pointing him out to my girlfriend. “He must be doing tai chi.” Here was a refreshing meditative respite from the tourists with selfie sticks and GoPro video cameras who surrounded us on this unfathomably beautiful beach.

“Oh, wait. Nope—never mind,” I countered a moment later. “He’s taking a panoramic photo on his iPhone.”

We tried to relax but instead found ourselves quietly deriding the people mugging all around us. It wasn’t enough for them to simply snap a photo and have a swim: The entire experience had to be stored in HD and uploaded so that “likes” could be tallied and feelings of vacationer schadenfreude fanned. “It’s like all the people I unfollowed on social media in one place,” my girlfriend said. “If only I could unsubscribe from these people right now.” We had to admit, though, that we found the digitally driven narcissism on display more compelling than the setting.

“The future,” I mused to her, “will be all about finding better ways to shoot photos and videos that nobody will ever want to look at.”

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