Monthly Archives: March 2018

I travel to show: A comprehensive guide to modern-day Instagram travel bragging

“My stomach feels so empty that I would have died if this food hadn’t come on time!”, she said, as she grabbed her Hummus & Pita platter from the table; took it to the restaurant balcony; religiously corrected the coriander leaves topping on the avocado hummus; and instgrammed a magnificent-looking picture with the backdrop of snow-covered Galu Pass. She captioned it “#TravelGoals #HimalayanFoodPorn”. That very moment was the inspiration behind this satire.

The whole tourist v/s traveler v/s explorer argument is so confusing in itself; the truth is that all of us are legitimate explorers. From those of us who pose in infinity pools in a sub-zero-chilled Shimla, to those who wait for their turn to get clicked with furry rabbits in Solang, we are all explorers in our own right. Everyday we explore things we didn’t know about earlier.

Therefore, as responsible explorers, it becomes our duty to let the world know about it. And what better way to let the world know than photographs? Photographs provide tangible evidence that the trip was made, that the showcased program was executed and that the fun was definitely had.

The phenomenon of clicking pictures and sharing them in social circles isn’t new, but with the advent of Instagram, both have become relatively easier, cheaper and faster. Forget about enjoying the fresh breeze as it touches your face; with a simple user-interface and clean-cut squares, Instagram has enabled us to easily extend the light of our freshly-gained knowledge and the serendipitous joy of traveling to the vast audience of the further world.

Therefore, Instagram is a tool for extending one’s hard-earned knowledge and validating one’s life. It has made our otherwise boring laid-back travel experiences into a source developing a glittering travel-resume!

Keeping in mind the tough brag-contest you face from your online social circles, we have prepared a 9-step guide on how to live your travels and show-it-off like you’ve had the time of your life, on Instagram.

1. The Plane Wings
“I’ll miss the Delhi air, see y’all later lovelies!” For this one, we suggest getting right onto the surface of the window and try, if you can break through, to reach even further, as you can capture the dreamy pastel clouds embracing the plane’s wings. Awaken the brightness in the picture, highlight the shadows and you are good to go!

2. It-is-normal-for-me Brag a.k.a. the ‘HumbleBrag’
“Just another weekend @Kasol! #TravelLife #Backpacker”, or else “OMG accidentally used my Eurail pass at the Rajiv Chowk Metro and I just won’t get why it didn’t work!!! ROFL #SwissNostalgia #memories”, should work. Just ignore how farce that sounds and just do it. I mean, the last 8 weekends you spent around 384 hours wrapped in and around that minions blanket of yours; but never mind, people must know you’re always hooked on to traveling.

3. Don’t always click the Selfies by yourself
“When bae photobombs you! #Sunkissed”. You don’t always want to be seen as clicking all your pictures by yourself. That leaves an impression that you’re more into clicking selfies than actually enjoying the trip (sometimes; not always dear). Moreover, clicking a group selfie by yourself makes you look fattest among them all (which you definitely won’t want) as you’re standing right in front of the camera. Therefore, it is advisable that you request the tall friends in your group, preferably those who are guys or gullible, to click all those group-selfies for you. It really does the trick!

4. The swimming-pool!
“Time to Tan!” Courtesy Hollywood, what is the best place to spend 8 hours pretending to read a book over borrowed wine? A swimming pool! Hotel swimming pools amount to the best photo-ops while you’re traveling. Though a bit less fun when your girlfriend makes you dive over 17 times to get the perfect shot, but hey! It’s all worth it, no?

5. The explorer soul
“Not all who wander are lost!! #Wanderlust #explorer #solotraveler #solotrippin #MahLyfMahRules #Nature #Friends #TravelersofInstragram #Naturegram

This is where the real game comes on the main stage. You absolutely have to tell people that you’re an adventure-seeking soul who not only loves the pool and the books, but would go to any extent to explore. Spend days on motorbikes and accidentally run out of fuel in a secluded area; hurt your knee but continue the climb despite the huge bandage; wear loose clothes; make your friends click you from behind as you trek around forests. If you’re a true explorer, these things must happen and must be aptly captured on-the-go.

6. The Sunset Flash
“You don’t love mountains if you don’t love the sunsets.” No travel brag is complete without sunset. Time and again, your profile MUST reflect you’re here for witnessing nature in raw. Try to make the frame as less crowded as possible, use ‘Amaro’ with medium intensity, and kaboom! You’ve the perfect sunset post on your profile. Don’t forget to tag @natgeotravel @condenasttraveller; your sunset is definitely the best, who knows you might get famous for it.

7. The Breakfast Flash
“This looks soo Yummmmmaaayyy!!” Pictures of good food are as important as good food itself. What is the whole point of ordering Acai smoothie bowl with activated granola and honeyed figs if it does not goon Instagram?

8. The Philosophy
“Take memories, leave only footprints.” Some deep and philosophical quote should be attached to the last picture, marking the culmination of your week-long brag.

9. Become an Insta-Influencer!
“thatguywithzerocreativity; 21; nomad, bibliophile, wine connoisseur, blows candles on 31st of February; For queries and collaboration please drop a mail on cliché”

Now that you’ve had your first real trip, and now that you’ve collected all the above-mentioned pictures in 1.765 trillion ways, you’re fit to be called a complete ‘Travel Influencer’ in your own right; you deserve it. Your wanderlust is so different that it has the power to influence an entire generation of holiday-goers. The world must know the story behind your making and how you transformed into this great and knowledgeable traveler that you’re today.

So upload it up, all of it; use filters, use hashtags, occasionally put in your valuable money (organic or inorganic, who cares), ask your friends to support your travel blog (even if it is a mere insta account); of course, in return of your un-conditional love & support to their fashion blog; and you’re good to go. No matter whether you actually write about things, or understand the places where you travel, or even own a blog separate to your Instagram account; you look and wear fancy, right? Congratulations, you’re now a legitimate travel blogger. Ignore those media-heads who belittle you by calling you a mere influencer.

Pro Tip: Even while you’re not traveling, don’t forget to put an insta-story about that exquisite restaurant (READ: Burger King) you visited last week. When out of content, make synchronized nods on boomerang with your best bud. You can also rely on; because obviously, everyday in your life is as good and fun-laden as real travel.

DISCLAIMER: This article is purely a work of satire; it is not meant to discourage the hard work and passion of aspiring bloggers & influencers across the country. It is our take on those content-creators who, despite lack of unique content, gain traction by means of paid likes & inorganic reach. As a media agency, we have absolute respect for all fields of media-work.

Blurred Lines: Bathtub Journalism v/s Responsible Reporting

On 25th of February 2018, India woke up to shock and disbelief at the unexpected news about the sudden demise of Sridevi, one of India’s most celebrated faces on the celluloid. While her untimely death in Dubai brought fans from across the world together to express their solidarity with her family, it also brought the world’s attention to sensationalism-craving practices of certain sections of the Indian media. Hours after the news of Sridevi’s death broke out, numerous journalists turned it into a grotesque circus of pathetic and insensitive reportage, which not only neglected important national issues but also overstepped its moral boundaries.

Journalism is a medium of collating, structuring and reporting information to the masses, so as to make them aware of the issues that directly or indirectly affect them. Unfortunately, the present state of Indian Journalism is heavily plagued with sensationalism and over-dramatization. Rather than making people analyze the larger issues, it focuses on an over-exaggerated, distorted and perverted version of the lesser issues.

Insensitive and irresponsible reporting
While the insensitive and exhaustive reporting on the demise of Sridevi has brought the content-hollowness in Indian media to the limelight, this deterioration has been happening since several years. A large number of journalists and media platforms seem to be interested in just grabbing TRPs, even if it is through distasteful and cringe-worthy headlines and coverage.

A glimpse at many Indian news channels would make you nostalgic about the days of crisp and concise reporting. Media nowadays often projects insignificant topics with sensational headlines as their main stories. Rather than highlighting issues that public must be informed about, like the farmer suicides, rapes, international crisis situations or economic upheavals, there are special hour-long episodes on national news channels about how ‘Simar’ efficiently reincarnated as a housefly!

Neglect of relevant issues
During the 72-hour nonstop reporting on Sridevi’s death, Indian media outlets reached an all-time low to what is popularly being termed in counter-opinions as ‘Bathtub Journalism’; all this, while several important issues were being utterly cornered. If you look at the timeline of Sridevi reportage, we were simultaneously witnessing the massive Syrian crisis, Indian GDP’s first major jump post demonetization, corruption allegations in a major competition exam of our country, allegations in INX Media scam, bombings in Tral (Jammu & Kashmir), etc, all of which were effectively sidelined by Indian media to the bottom-most panels of their screens or front pages. Some even neglected these affairs completely, giving the entire space to commemorating their beloved actress.

Summing it up
An increasingly large section of the Indian Media breathes, eats and feeds on sensationalism. The irresponsible reporting continues to give undue publicity to less-relevant issues. As a Public Relations agency, we sometimes find it hard to convince media professionals to consider relevant pieces of information. The very same slots are happily provided to paparazzi pictures of celebrity kids’ ‘cute smile’.

The Media is popularly termed as the ‘Fourth Pillar’ of Indian democracy. If it has been given such an honour, it must truly abide by the responsibilities that come with it. Perhaps, this is the time for us to get our priorities right.