Zilla van den Born, a Dutch student, subjected her friends on Facebook to her South East Asia vacation photos for five straight weeks. Only Born didn’t leave her home of Amsterdam for any vacation. It was all a lie.
The only person that knew of her lie was her boyfriend. Not even her close friends knew, nor her family. The lie kept going for 42 days with frequent updates about her backpacking and meeting new people.
But the truth was she had never really tried new cuisines, she never really sat in authentic Buddhist temples, and she never really went snorkeling. In fact, she used photoshop to superimpose the fish you see swimming with her. The reality is all of these amazing places were mere miles from where she lived. In fact, that pool belonged to her apartment building.
Was she in desperate need of attention? Or just crazy.
Often times we’ll see our friends fun adventures, trips, jobs, and even relationships on Facebook, not knowing most of it is a lie. And Born wanted to point that out. Most social media is a platform for boasting, and what we perceive isn’t necessarily reality. Or it’s a “reality” that doesn’t really exist.
This whole episode was actually a college project on the topic of how “Facebook activity is not necessarily reflective of real life.” After the media in Amsterdam took notice of the story, she told the press, “I did this to show people that we filter and manipulate what we show on social media, and that we create an online world which reality can no longer meet. My goal was to prove how common and easy it is to distort reality. Everybody knows that pictures of models are manipulated. But we often overlook the fact that we manipulate reality also in our own lives.”
Let’s hope she got an A, because this one had me worried for a minute. Let’s just hope her family isn’t too angry with her.
Follow me at @Todd_Spence