5 Ways People Are Faking Having Better Lives On Social Media
The bread and butter of the social media industry is people trying to look cooler than they are in real life. It's why all of your profiles say that you're "quirky," when in reality you're just an arsonist. But some people can take that need to look awesome too far, and they turn their social media feeds into a buffet of lies and deceit. For example ...
People Take Fake Vacations Just For Social Media
You could make a strong argument that the entire purpose of a vacation is to get away from your current grind, to relax, unwind, and recharge. Thus, faking a vacation is some kind of ass-backward tomfuckery. You're putting effort into pretending to not be putting effort into something. It's dumb, is what it is. So naturally, it's all the rage on social media.
A number of people made news for faking their Coachella trips in 2019 -- which, in contrast to what I just said, is probably better than actually going to Coachella, but we're not here to debate the merits of an overpriced herpes-riddled shitshow. Now, they say they're only doing it to expose how fake Instagram is, but of course they only reveal that after they reap all of that sweet, desperate attention first. It's indicative of the whole social media trend to want to be everywhere so goddamn much that you waste time pretending to be somewhere instead of actually going anywhere.
In researching this, I was looking for a specific story about someone trying to fake a vacation and accidentally stumbled upon this list of videos. Look at all these people faking vacations like they're travel wizards. But why?
Our Coachella faker boiled faking a holiday down to the simplest reason: followers. Somehow, you being at Coachella, or in Fiji, or battling Bigfoot in the Rockies, will convince people you don't know to look at your photos and then want to keep looking at your photos in the future. But if you're not an "influencer," there's literally no reason for this. Followers are like a new skin for your favorite video game character; you will work incredibly hard to get them, even though there is literally no practical use for them at all.
You Can Pay For Fake Status Symbols
What's the point of social media if you can't use it to convince strangers of your immense wealth? I'm asking a serious question. If you can't convince the world that precious jewels dribble from your ass whenever you stand up, why are you even on Instagram? "But what if my butt is just full of, well, butt juice, Ian?" you ask. That's when you start renting rich people stuff and taking your picture in front of it.
For example, if you're in Moscow, you can do a photo shoot on a real private jet that in no way will fly you anywhere. And if you're in LA, you can snap a pic on a little jet prop with some chairs against a wall and a "window" in the middle. Seriously, it looks like a background you'd see in a sitcom, but I guess we're supposed to believe that it's a rich person's flying machine because of the amount of leg space.
And when your fake jet lands, you can head to your fake pad in Manhattan to take pics of yourself drinking the most exotic flavors of La Croix, while totally hiding the fact that you're just renting a nice bed and some walls. Then, when that gets too existentially sad, you can take part in "experiences" where you simply stand in line to pose for pictures pretending you did a cool thing.
But what if someone asks for proof? Well, there are companies in China that will provide you with doctored receipts to show that you TOTALLY bought that car and aren't just sobbing over your ramen. And if all this posing in front of fake stuff sounds exhausting, you could go to Instasham and take your pick of stock photos that make it seem like you're vacationing somewhere exotic, instead of realizing that all of this is just a big trash can where hope goes to die.
"Influencers" Make Fake Sponsored Posts
There was actually a time when I was considered an "influencer," so much so that 20th Century Fox paid for me to fly to Los Angeles, put me up in a hotel that is literally nicer than my soul, and let me share an elevator with Ice T, his wife, and his dog. Influencers can make some serious bank. And when they can't, they will go all out to pretend they did anyway.
But in a two-pronged attack of bullshit, it turns out that Influencers are faking brand deals, and brands are paying fake influencers. It's like a handjob in a room with no dicks and no hands. It's Schrodinger's handjob. Maybe it's happening, maybe it's not, but at least there are pics on Instagram.
According to the AI that runs Cosmo, brands spent over $2 billion on influencers in 2017, and 11% of them were as fake as the smile you give when your mom asks you if you're doing OK. Does a brand that somehow gives money to a fake Instagram account that is mostly followed by robots deserve whatever it gets? Probably. But it confirms that the entire environment of fakeitude is worse than we thought.
On the opposite side of the fake coin are influencers who just pretend to have deals. How's that cockamamie scheme work? Well, they just take a picture of themselves with a new phone or new shoes or new Nintendo-themed gimp suit and pretend that their post was sponsored by the brand in the picture. And why would anyone do that? To make it look like they have more clout. More sponsors means you're more important, and fewer sponsors mean that you're a normal healthy person. And who wants to be, ugh, that?
You Can Pay A Company To Compliment You On Social Media
Recent studies have shown that, despite what most of us learned growing up, compliments do exist on the internet. It's just that they're manufactured by Chinese social media companies, whom you pay to say nice things to you online.
If you're so inclined, you could head to Taobao, which is like the internet baby of Amazon and that goblin market from Hellboy II, and find yourself a compliment seller. And for around $4, you can receive tailor-made compliments based on information you provide. CNBC tried it out, and said they were new in town and a bit lonely, and were immediately told how awesome it was that they could now enjoy some "me time." Awww. That is SO depressing.
After telling the group they were trying to learn Chinese, the return volley of validation congratulated them on their learning potential and future prospects for linguistic mastery. And that's nice, I guess, even if it does sound like the compliment you'd receive before you discover that your stepdad is an alien. As for why it's happening, it may be an attempt to stop the metric ton of vitriol that exists on social media all the time, which makes it sort of noble, but absolutely no less weird.
If You Lack A Real Family, You Can Rent A Fake One For Pics
In Japan, there's a company called Family Romance, whose name must have lost something (or maybe gained something) in translation. Family Romance lets you hire people to help flesh out your personal life. You want a co-worker, a girlfriend, or a grandma? You want a baby? Family Romance will fake that shit for you. You can hire fake babies. And this is all for the purpose of duping people into thinking you have a richer social life than you do. And for a less intense experience, you can use their "Real Appeal" service to hire someone to take pics with you so that you can pretend you were at work parties, bachelor parties, or sexy celebrity funerals. That's a thing, right?
But why not just hang out and take pics with people for free? You must know, well ... someone, right? This whole thing seems to be based on the premise that either everyone in your social media network is a stranger and you have no actual friends or acquaintances or anyone, or the people you do know are judgmental and need to see that you're in the presence of other flesh beings to be worth anything. But I'm here to tell you that they're wrong, and you ARE worth something. Also, take those fake pics with those fake friends if you want. I say that because 1) You're free to live your own life, and 2) I won't know the difference anyway.
For more, check out Why Parents Who Over Share On Social Media Ruin Their Kids:
Also, we'd love to know more about you and your interesting lives, dear readers. If you spend your days doing cool stuff, drop us a line at iDoCoolStuff at Cracked dot com, and maybe we can share your story with the entire internet.
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