It is no secret that most of us spend our days scrolling through our Facebook News Feeds' looking at our 'friends' in envy at their seemingly endless albums featuring them backpacking through foreign countries, partying it up on tropical beaches and just basically having the time of their lives. But how much of what we see is reality and how much has been filtered for social media?
Dutch Graphic Design student Zillla van den Born decided to look into this very question for her university project.
“Everybody knows that pictures of models are manipulated. But we often overlook the fact that we manipulate reality also in our own lives,” she said. “We create an online ideal world which reality can no longer meet...My goal was to prove how common and easy it is to distort reality.”
Born used Photoshop and Facebook to trick her family and friends into believing she was on a 5-week trip in Southeast Asia. She posted manipulated photos of all her adventures, keeping everyone updated as she went. Her friends saw her snorkeling, riding tuk-tuks, visiting Buddhist temples and even Skyped loved ones from her bedroom that was decorated to look like an Oriental hotel room. The only person who knew her secret was her boyfriend.
At the end of it all, she unmasked her deception, capturing her friends' and family members' reactions on video. Some where amazed, many were confused and some were actually angry.
The moral of the story, don't take social media so seriously!