Question for the community: should we all be sharing the locations of the beautiful photos we share on social media, or should we withhold the locations in an effort to protect these fragile places and keep the outdoors a place of exploration and discovery? I see both sides of the argument and am interested in your thoughts.
There was a huge response, and the feedback ran the gamut. Some people have an ardent belief that if you go somewhere and capture a photo you wish to share, that it’s arrogant and selfish to keep the location to yourself. Others believed that the most fulfilling thing about traveling in the mountains is the exploration and that if you only select your locations by window shopping on Instagram you miss the whole point of adventuring. I think there is some validity in both cases, and I’d like to share some of the most thoughtful responses (with some edits for grammar) before sharing my final thoughts on the subject.
Arguments for sharing:
@live.work.wander on Instagram: Share. Those locations don’t belong to the person taking the photo. Keeping it secret, keeping it for yourself, is selfish and contrary to the spirit of shared public space and to the idea that these places can be life changing for people. Experiencing awe can make people kinder and more empathetic and it seems to me that those of us who find places can act as guides to someone’s discovery of a side of them they never knew they had.
@outofthewoods on Instagram: That’s a fantastic question! I’ve struggled with the same thing, I think I tend to lean on the side of sharing. Just because I know I was thankful for those that shared with me years ago when I thought Mt. Si was a great hike lol. There are some hikes though that I leave out details on, figuring if they are willing to put in the time to figure out details for themselves then I would hope that they would have enough respect to take care of the places they go to.
@Drew McKenzie on Facebook: Share, everyone deserves the chance to see and enjoy. If people experience nature they are more likely to want to protect and preserve it.
@vikingfoss on Instagram: I applaud @live.work.wander. These places have been around long before us, we don’t have any rights to them either way, and it’s up to the individual(s) that visit such places to keep them clean. Pack it in + pack it out. Everyone deserves the chance to Seek & Enjoy (with responsibility).
@stephaniefmcfadden on Instagram: I feel like @live.work.wander couldn’t have said it any better. Share. Give people the chance to experience what you have, and give them the chance to NOT muck it up, before you just assume everyone else would destroy it. That’s an incredibly arrogant and self important way of thinking.