I am totally in love with Dutch student, Zilla van den Born, who faked her South East Asian vacation to prove a point that much of what we read on the internet is completely false. She spent her time off from friends and family using her Photoshop skills to create a fake experience. One that probably made her friends and family quite jealous.
I completely understand why she did it. She was proving what a lot of us think on a regular basis. That people make their lives seem more exciting than they really are. She took it to the extreme to make her point. We see posts from people that make us think they are happy; that they are rich; that they are successful; that life is perfect.
The truth is that some people are able to put on a positive face, even when things are tough. They are able to show the good things in life, even when things really suck. Yes, there are people who need/want attention and put things out there to get buzz. However, consider why they do it? Is it for attention or are they in need? Are they hurting in some way?
The internet is a wonderful place full of information that teaches us new things. The internet gives people a chance to connect, to have an opinion, share and debate ideas. It’s also like a dangerous game of telephone where facts get distorted and the simplest things can get misinterpreted. In some cases it is intentional. Either to create a stir or for malicious reasons. But in so many cases people’s emotions and own insecurities that spark misinformation.
As I have thought more and more about this, I have developed some some rules to live by:
- Don’t believe everything you read. Check multiple sources before you share something.
- Everyone has a hard time. Check in with people even if everything seems wonderful. You might be surprised by what you learn.
- Think about what you share and how it might be perceived.
- Get inspired by what you see. If you feel jealous, figure out what you can do that would be awesome. Not all happiness comes from fancy vacations and beautiful meals. Make your own fun.
- Don’t believe everything that you read on the internet.