How to brag about your vacation without alienating people

Sophie-Claire Hoeller

This dilemma is at the heart of a recent study in Psychological Science, which contends that while your experiences may be epic, no one wants to hear about them.

Even worse, force feeding your followers with Facebook posts and Instagram uploads might have negative social repercussions for you. People around you get annoyed, and in turn you’ll feel isolated.

The study shows that while you’re posting pics of yourself sandboarding in Peru or hiking through Joshua Tree, others see it as bragging.Relationships generally center on the things people have in common, the study asserts, and recounting amazing experiences that others weren’t a part of is thus alienating.

“At worst, people may be envious and resentful of those who have had an extraordinary experience, and at best, they may find themselves with little to talk about,” it states.

On the upside, you’re officially not alone in groaning audibly while hate-liking someone else’s hot dog legs. Wanting incredible experiences is human, and so is being a jealous jerk.

But is there a way to #humblebrag efficiently? We’ve found a few dos and don'ts so that you can brag about your vacation without alienating everyone.

1. Don’t post gratuitous photos that add no value

2. Do post pics that make people want to go there

On the other hand, posting incredible images of stunning views and landscapes that make people want to pack their bags and join you are not just acceptable, but encouraged. It’s hard not to like a beautiful sunset, no matter how jealous it makes you.

3. Don’t post too many pictures

The days of inviting people over to your home to accost them with slideshows of your latest trip to Fort Lauderdale are thankfully over, as are the days of multiple Facebook albums labeled “Fort Lauderdale parts 1 through 7.” No one wants to see 29 pictures of the same beach or every single meal you've eaten in the last five days.

4. Curate your pictures

5. Don’t post pictures of food

Unless you’re a professional food photographer, pictures of food will 99% of the time look crappy, under lit, and unappetizing, even if Nobu himself plated your meal.

6. Don’t make it about yourself

No one wants to hear how you found yourself mid-downward dog in Bali.

7. Do make it about the people and the place

Instead, people want to hear about the locals and the culture that make where you are unique.

8. Don’t post inspirational quotes

Please, for the love of god, don’t spew platitudes you found online or on your doctor’s wall calendar. Inspirational quotes are a worse cliché than a photo of you pinching the top of the Taj Mahal, and guaranteed to alienate all of your followers.

9. Don’t list your experiences like you’re going through a checklist

Ask yourself whether you’re doing something for the experience of it, or for its Instagrammability. There’s nothing worse than rattling down activities and sounding like a brochure for your destination.

10. Don’t bog people down with the minutiae

11. Don’t check into every single place every single time

We don’t need to know every time you return to your hotel. Plus, if you're constantly updating your social media accounts, and doing so immediately after said events, you’re obviously not living in the moment or properly enjoying your trip, and quite possibly just straight up showing off. Don't be that guy.

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