LONDON — Remember postcards? If you don’t, you’re probably in good company. Social media has seemingly made them obsolete, a new survey shows, with most adults posting updates to their profiles while on vacation and nearly two-thirds admittedly not having sent anyone a postcard since before 2010.
Aviva, the United Kingdom’s largest insurer, conducted a poll of more than 2,000 adults in Great Britain who’ve taken a vacation in the last two years. Sixty-three percent of participants indicated they hadn’t mailed a postcard while on vacation in at least the last seven years, despite 77 percent signing online to share elements of their trip with others.
Of course, while it’s not so uncommon to sign onto Facebook and see someone’s personal photos taken while enjoying a trip to paradise, it’s not a very welcomed gesture. Nearly three-quarters of those polled — 73 percent, to be exact — indicated they felt annoyed by people who share pictures of their vacation (better known in the UK as “holiday”) on social media.
“A holiday is, for many, a time to switch-off and have a rest but it would seem that taking a break doesn’t apply to social media,” says Adam Beckett, Propositions Director at Aviva, in a company release. “Now, we’re sharing our holiday memories as soon as they happen, and with a much wider circle of friends and family.”
People especially can’t stand the “hot dog legs” images (you know, the person at the beach or pool who snaps a shot of their legs while laying out and asks you whether they’re legs or hot dogs) more than any other — it was found to be the most irritating of common social media vacation pictures.
When it came to why vacationers like using social media to post vacation photos, the ability to easily share elements of their trip with family and friends was the top reason (44 percent). That said, 21 percent admitted they do it to show off to their followers, while 10 percent said they mostly enjoy making others jealous.
Annoying friends may be one downside to posting online getaway pics, but Beckett warns that it also opens the door to criminals taking advantage of your empty home. Thirty-four percent of participants said they post photos throughout their trip and nearly 10 percent post an update as soon as they leave the house.
“Posting pictures and checking-in on social media while away could potentially leave a home vulnerable to thieves,” he says. “The best time to post holiday pictures to social media is when you’re back home. If you really can’t wait to share, then at least make sure you’re only posting to a closed circle of trusted friends and family.”
The data, published in the Aviva Holiday Report: The Digital Vacation, June 2017, was compiled in March.