How to be a Responsible Social Media Traveller
Social media has enabled people to unlock the traveller and explorer in them, as visual content available at the touch of a thumb, of the most beautiful places in the world, are inspiring people to discover and capture all corners of the globe.
However, issues have arisen from the growing demand for new and unique social content, that pushes boundaries and goes further than any post before. This attitude has led to many social media travel influencers finding themselves in hot water with local authorities and communities, over the types of photos or videos posted to their social media channels.
Backlash, and in some cases imprisonment, has taken place in response to irresponsible, illegal and disrespectful social media content, from photos taken in dangerous locations, to launching drones without permission – all in the name of gaining followers, likes and shares.
Here, StudentUniverse provides travellers with five much needed tips and advice on how to be a responsible and respectful social media traveller.
Keep your clothes on
This should go without saying: don’t pose naked at tourist attractions anywhere in the world. What might seem funny and harmless to you is disrespectful, and in many countries public nudity is illegal and can come with heavy penalties and punishment. It’s also worth researching whether countries have a preferred dress code for those religious and cultural temples. Some countries will require visitors to cover up, so even though it may be 30˚+, a swim suit or shorts won’t be appropriate when visiting a sacred place of worship.
Don’t climb on ancient sites
While a selfie in front of some of the world’s most famous and recognisable landmarks is a must for many travellers, unfortunately the perfect shot can sometimes only be achieved by climbing to a spot where they shouldn’t. Although ‘getting off the beaten track’ is encouraged when travelling, it’s important that visitors to ancient sites and attractions stick to the designated path. These guidelines aren’t in place to restrict freedom, but for the safety of those who visit and the site itself.
Check the rules for filming and using drones
Video content is increasingly popular on social media platforms, and with easy access to GoPros and drones, more and more people are able to capture epic footage from all corners of the globe.
However, there are strict rules for filming and flying drones in most public places. Whether they’re landmarks, national parks, or even entire cities, drones are off limits. It’s important that extensive research is carried out before launching a drone, in some countries a permit or formal permission may need to be pre-arranged or granted. Most importantly, never, ever fly a drone near an airport.
Treat wildlife with respect
Photos posed with animals are extremely common on social media channels, but the lengths some people will go to get these pictures can cause a lot of problems.
Most revolve around food, as people use snacks to lure animals close enough for the perfect image. Firstly, the choice of food might be harmful to the creature. Secondly, it risks making them too used to humans, and seeing them as a ready source of tasty treats. This can lead to them turning aggressive and causing disturbances amongst travel groups. Remember, the best animal experience is observing them in the wild at a safe distance, and in their natural habitat.
There has been a steep rise in accidental deaths caused by travellers risking their safety to take a selfie, which has led to many destinations and tourist attractions implementing ‘no-selfie zones’.
It may be obvious, but the numbers of accidental deaths show that it’s common enough for it to be taken seriously; latest figures revealed that between October 2011 and November 2017, there were 259 selfie deaths, with the highest occurrences in India, followed by Russia, United States, and Pakistan.
No matter how good you believe a photo or video shot might look on your channels, it’s never worth endangering your safety.
For more information on StudentUniverse and the trips and flights available, visit www.studentuniverse.co.uk