Instagram holiday debt: ‘I spent £5,000 for the gram’

Fiona MelbulImage copyright A Current Affair

Fiona Melbul spent over £5,000 on a six-week holiday to Disneyland “for the ‘gram”.

The 27-year-old from Australia admits getting into thousands of dollars of debt to impress friends on Instagram.

She had booked her holiday to America – knowing she couldn’t afford the trip – using credit cards to pay for it.

In total it cost her around $10,000 (£5,525) but the “fear of missing out” made her go, she told the Australian news show A Current Affair.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption If you don’t Instagram the castle, were you even there?

Fiona says it was because of her brother that she wanted to go travelling.

“My brother said ‘I’m going to Disneyland’ and I said ‘You’re not going without me!’ So I got a loan.

“I think the trip, all up, costs about 8K. All on credit.”

And the reason why she spent money on the holiday – to get “the perfect shot” for her 777 followers.

Image copyright A Current Affair
Image caption Fiona’s Instagram page

She says, “You take those 10, 20 shots to take the perfect one, post on social media, then you wait for your friends to see it.

“Then you get all those comments of them being jealous. It makes me feel good that I can do that.”

Why are people getting in debt ‘for the gram’

Psychologist Christine Bagley-Jones thinks Instagrammers believe “spending will lead to happiness”.

“It’s just like fast food, not very substantial and nutritious, you’ve got to keep going back for another hit,” she says.

And she says we make comparisons to other people because of constantly being “connected” to social media.

“That status-envy and downward comparing leads us to strive for this other life that’s not our own.

“After the holiday is done, you’ve got this debt but you don’t have the thrill of the holiday to look forward to, so it can be depressing.”

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 weekdays – or listen back here.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #flipboard https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-49445005?ocid=socialflow_twitter&ns_source=twitter&ns_campaign=bbcnews&ns_mchannel=social