There’s nothing in the world that we all have a more dramatic love-hate relationship with than social media. It’s great for sharing your beautiful pictures, and for finding inspiration… but on the other hand, influencers have taken it to the extreme, flooding our feeds with pictures that, to be honest, can make you feel pretty bad about not traveling… or for not spending your trip camping out on top of the world’s prettiest mountain if you are lucky enough to even take a vacation.
@youdidnotsleepthere agrees. It’s an Instagram account that collects all of the most insane travel porn Instagrams of people “camping” to call them out. It’s a reminder that those intoxicatingly beautiful pictures of people camping on the edge of the Grand Canyon or whatever are completely staged, or even photoshopped. Those pictures are specifically made to garner followers in the hopes that the account can reach “influencer” status, not because someone just so happened to be camping out on the shores of an alpine lake hidden in a pine-forested valley. Lugging all of that gear out to the middle of nowhere is totally unrealistic, and besides, it can’t be comfy. Probably limited cell service, too. Honestly, no thanks.
As each account vies for the most incredible travel porn, things have gotten to a point that, if we take a step back and think about it, is a little ridiculous. As you browse through her photos, some are clearly (and hilariously) fake, while some were actually made in earnest, and it’s not always easy to tell the difference.
The girl behind the account was inspired by classic Instagrams like @youdidnoteatthat and @youdidnotskatethat, but she also uses @youdidnotsleepthere to make another point about social media that bothers her. People with large followings tend to play it safe and never want to offend anyone or ruffle any feathers. Rather than letting an account be a generic, massively appealing place to forget about reality, she wants people with large followings to put their platforms to good use as a place to take a stand, bring attention to a cause, and effect change. The account’s current bio makes the intentions clear right up front: “Celebrating Instagram’s most illogical campsites AND VERY OCCASIONALLY POLITICS BECAUSE I GIVE A SHIT.”
So next time you take a vacation, don’t feel bad if you stay in a budget hotel rather than camp out, or if you take the touristy and popular trail through the park, or even if you just leave your phone in the car and don’t worry too much about taking that perfect Instagram shot. Vacations should be about what makes you happy, not what makes your followers happy.