It's officially summer, and you know what that means: Your social media feeds are about to become overrun with gorgeous photos of your friends lounging on tropical islands, traversing through Europe, and partying with tons of beautiful people. And while most of the pictures you'll see are authentic, it turns out that an alarming number of social media users actually fake their vacation snaps.
According to Time, a survey conducted by financial planning group LearnVest found that over one-third of men admit to editing their vacation photos to make it "look like they are staying, eating, or visiting somewhere more expensive than they actually were." That means a large chunk of men probably spent more time cropping and filtering their photos than they spent actually enjoying their meals or views.
Of course, men aren't the only culprits. The same survey found that 26% of the women who responded fessed up to posting photos that, in truth, don't show the honest picture.
So, what does that look like on a larger scale? Time reports that "30% of Americans admitted to this self-aggrandizing behavior, although the number rises sharply (to 56%) among millennials."
Millennials often get a bad rap for wasting their days posting updates about everything from our lunches to their darkest relationship secrets, but even with a history of having our phones glued to our hands, this number sounds extreme. However, LearnVest sees an upside to all of this.
The group hopes that by doctoring pictures to make vacations look more lavish than they really are, perhaps people won't follow a nationwide trend of going into debt ($1,100, on average, LearnVest found) while traveling. But can lying to friends and family through images really dampen the desire to splurge?
Maybe not. Time notes that while people don't budget enough money for their dream vacations and often go into debt, struggling for a while doesn't seem to prevent them from making similar, sometimes irresponsible monetary decisions in the future.
Something tells me that no matter how much money someone spent on a week at a flashy resort, some would still find a reason to one-up their pals with fake photos. Call it "keeping up with the Joneses" or just plain vain behavior, but the history of mankind will always be littered with attempts to appear cooler than the next guy.