But now officials in charge of a popular tourist beach in Cannes, France, have banned holidaymakers from taking selfies at the much-loved sunbathing spot in a bid to outlaw “holiday bragging” in the area.
The two sections of the Garoupe beach designated a “No Braggies Zone” will remain so for two weeks during the peak August holiday rush, creating a brag-free haven for those weary of seeing beachgoers spending their whole time on the sand taking shots of their own faces, hot dog legs, sandy feet and flamboyant umbrella-topped cocktails.
A team of “Holiday Spam Police” will be patrolling to enforce the rules throughout the period the ban is in place, while celebrities who are already well known for spending their downtime posting constant selfies will face an outright ban from the popular south of France destination.
Actress Lindsay Lohan in May uploaded a topless shot of herself on to Instagram after arriving in Cannes by private jet.
A spokesman for the beach said: “The Garoupe beaches are among the most glamorous and pristine beaches in all of France.
“However, we want people to be able to enjoy our exclusive beach in the moment, not spending the majority of their time here uploading selfies and sunsets to brag to their friends and family back home.”
A French women’s magazine last month declared the end of topless sunbathing on the country’s beaches, saying young women were far less likely to catch some rays without a bikini – partly due to the prevalence of pictures on social media making it likely that “you can end up topless on your own Facebook wall”.
But John Lennon, professor of tourism at Glasgow Caledonia University, claimed that any kind of ban on taking holiday photos was a restriction on holidaymakers’ freedom.
“There have always been cameras on a beach and people have always taken photos,” he said.
“It is true that since cameras have become phones and vice versa, people take more images and the record is more immediate.
“However, it is impossible to control it. Holidays have changed hugely since the introduction of the smart phone – from how we book a trip, to where we get recommendations and opinions. This is just another element of this and trying to stop it is almost a restriction of personal freedom.”
The ban was agreed in partnership with mobile phone operator Three, which noticed a sharp increase in the level of holiday spam infiltrating people’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts after the network decided to scrap data roaming fees in 16 international destinations.
Tom Malleschitz, marketing director of Three, said: “We’re sorry. Sorry that the addition of France to our Feel At Home feature, which allows our customers to use their phones abroad at no extra cost, has seen a massive increase in the quantity of holiday spam being sent from this beach.
“The ban is an extreme measure, but one that we think is needed if we’re to motivate people to brag more responsibly abroad and share only the finest photos of their holidays.”