Survey finds Millennials are the most likely demographic to post deceptive photos in social media

According to the results of a survey released by Allianz Global Assistance last week, more than a third (36 per cent) of Millennials (ages 18-34) said they have posted social media vacation images that make their trips look better than they really are.

The same survey, which is Allianz’s 10th annual 2018 Vacation Confidence Index, found that only 15 per cent of Gen X’ers (ages 35 – 54) and five per cent of Baby Boomers (ages 55+) have done the same.

Why do they do it? Most of them (65 per cent) do so in an attempt to make others envious, while 51 per cent said they do it to compete with others who do the same. Men are slightly more likely than women to post vacation photos on social media to make friends or family jealous (men: 28 per cent and women: 16 per cent) and compete with others (men: 22 per cent and women: eight per cent).

Ironically, those who have used social media in a deceptive manner are more likely to trust social media posts from users, brands and media. Of the respondents who posted on social media to make their vacation look better than reality, 87 per cent trust posts from people they personally know; 69 per cent trust those from brands; 69 per cent trust media organizations/news outlets and 60 pe rcent trust social users they do not know personally, including celebrities and social media influencers.

I suppose the takeaway from all this is that you should enjoy the beautiful travel photos you see in your social media feeds, but be aware that they’ve all been perfectly curated to make you see only the good stuff. Treat it for the fantasy that it is and try not to compare your life to that of others. Chances are yours is just as good, if not better.

*Methodology: The results cited here are findings of an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance. For this survey, a sample of 1,005 Americans from the Ipsos I-Say panel was interviewed from May 2 – 5, 2018. The precision of online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the results are accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all American adults been polled. Quota sampling and weighting were employed in order to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Credibility intervals are wider among subsets of the population.

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