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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > October 2015 > Something to declare: a novel way to show off from your holiday

Something to declare: a novel way to show off from your holiday

THERE IS AN ANCIENT ZEN KOAN, contemplated by wizened thinkers on mountaintops for millennia: if a tree falls in the forest and no-one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? In the modern era, we have a rather less lofty riddle to puzzle over: if I go on holidays and don’t post photos of it on social media, did it really happen?

Travel has become standard fare on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds the world over. Amongst the photos of newborn babies and home-baked macaroons, we have a parade of grinning travellers soaking in infnity pools in Bali, drinking cocktails in Manhattan, and twinkling sand-dusted toes on beaches across the Caribbean. These shots are ostensibly intended to share with loved ones the joy of the moment, a kindly cyber ‘wish you were here’. But no-one is fooled – deep down, we all know the main purpose is to incite in the hearts of all who view it a dark and burrowing envy.

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