With the advent of social media, the world we live in has become a lot smaller. We are now connecting with others and uniting with people from different walks of life. Social media has given us the power to even distort some of the realities we experience today. There are so many people who feel the need to flaunt the kind of good life they live. People have become superficial and judge each other based on what they post online. So much so that a 25-year-old Dutch was the envy of her friends, peers, and family members when she posted pictures from her trip to south-east Asia back in 2014. But there was a huge twist to this story that seemed like this girl was living the life. No one expected her to be where she actually was all along.
The Exciting News
It is always exciting to go on trips and experience a new world we have never been to. Everyone needs a break from our busy work and schedules from time to time. It is not healthy to work throughout the whole year. This girl knew that she wanted to take some time off to spend by herself and indulge in some self-love. So in the month of April back in 2014, this 25-year-old Dutch student, Zilla van den Born though of a plan. She informed her friends, family members, classmates, and professors that she was going to take a leave for some time. She told them that he needed to take a 5-week-long vacation all around South East Asia.
Preparing For The Trip
So after getting the approval she needed, she was getting ready. She excitedly packed all of the stuff she was going to need while going on her trip. She was beyond excited to go to a place that she had never been before. So, everything was cleared and Zilla’s flight had been scheduled to fly on April 23, 2014. Her trip abroad was documented every day on her social media and so everyone knew just how excited she was. Her trip to south-east Asia was just for about 5 weeks long. But Zilla was packing a few items as she could because everything was not going to fit in a single backpack and a shoulder bag…
Everything was all set, it was all going smooth. Zilla was up and ready to explore this new place that she had never been to before. The look in her eyes showed just how ready she was to go abroad. So on the morning of April 23, 2014, Zilla made her parents take her to the Amsterdam train station. Since the train was going to take her to the airport, they said their goodbyes in the train station itself. It was necessary to know all her whereabouts because she was a girl and her parents were very concerned. So what Zilla did was, she gave her itinerary of her trip to her parents to let them know just where she was every day.
As we all know, goodbyes are always hard, even if we will meet the other person again very soon. So it was a very emotional time when Zilla was about to leave. Her parents were a little upset to see that their daughter was about to go away. They also worried because she was about to travel alone, to a place where the cannot see her. At the same time, they were quite excited to know that their daughter was about to travel the world and experience a new culture that was alien to her before. They soon exchanged their goodbyes and so Zilla was about to make her move towards her train which would again transport her to the airport.
Documenting Every Step
Since Zilla was an avid social media user, she made sure to click photos every step of the way. So as soon as Zilla made it to the airport, she would then continue her journey. After reaching the airport, Zella would be one step closer to enjoy her 42-day adventure to explore Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. As she was waiting for her flight to reach, Zilla shared some pictures of herself before she started her adventure. She clicked pictures at the train station and took photos of her passport. She made sure all of her friends and family were a part of her journey through her social media updates.
Arriving In Paradise
Like any other child, Zilla was sure to keep her parents posted on all of what was happening around her from the start of her adventure. When she boarded her flight, Zilla sent her parents a text message informing them that the plane was about to take off and that she would tell them when the plane landed at her destination. The flight was a long one, since it was an international flight, taking over 15 hours. So Zilla would keep her parents in the loop, updating and posting on her social media every chance she gets to make sure that everyone she knew was there along with her virtually.
So the plane safely landed and Zilla reached safe and sound. By the time she reached her hotel room, the first thing that Zilla did was Skyping with her parents to let them know the place where she would be living in for the next few weeks during her stay in Thailand. Zilla frequently Skyped her parents and she would always keep them posted on her whereabouts that day. Zilla would tell them about what she ate, the beautiful places she went to and the wonderful people she met on her journey. So it made her parents feel a little better and a lot less worried to know that she was doing good.
Backpacking Around South-East Asia
She soon stayed in Thailand for a few days and did whatever she was set to do. So next it was time for Zilla to move on to Cambodia and then to Laos. It was a frequent thing for the 25-year-old to Skype with her mother and father and also her dear friends to show them how her new rooms are every time she changes locations. So, on every Skype session, Zilla made sure to inform them about all of the wonderful adventures she got to enjoy every day. She would also speak about the other people, the backpackers she met along the way and their new friendship. She seemed very happy to be experiencing all this.
Social Media Updates
The meaning of taking a vacation would be lost if someone spends most of their days cooped up in their hotel rooms right? So, Zilla was not about to waste her time in her hotel room doing nothing. So even though Zilla made time to Skype her family each week during her trip, she did not intend on spending her whole time during her vacation stuck in her hotel room or on the computer talking to people from her home. So she made it a point to document each of her moves and adventures that she embarked upon each day. She would send these photos to her closed ones and occasionally share them online.
Photos Of Paradise
It would be a new photo every day that Zilla would post or send her family. Every chance she gets Zilla would go back to the hotel room she stayed in, to post whatever pictures she was able to click and the adventures she experienced. The majority of these photos showed her having so much fun swimming in the fresh blue waters at the heavenly beaches that she got to visit, while some of the images showed her going to ancient temples, and some pictures were all about the mouth-watering delicacies these South-Asian countries had to offer. Zilla was having the time of her life and it was very evident in the radiant smile she would wear on her social media photos.
Stuck At Home
To see someone you know experiencing the kind of life we see on television would definitely make anyone of us green with jealousy. So we cannot blame Zilla’s dear friends and family who were incredibly jealous of Zilla each time she would post pictures of all the amazing things she did and experienced while backpacking through all these countries. Everyone else was still stuck in their own boring, mundane lives, going to work or attending classes. She was the hot topic of conversation that everyone was speaking about. They were all bummed that she had the luxury of indulging in all these activities while they were stuck at home.
Living A Lie
But wait, there was something that no one had any knowledge about. It is something that no one thought possible because she was doing such a good job of hiding it. Zilla had kept some secrets from all of her loved ones.No one that spoke to Zilla was aware that she was not actually experiencing all of the stuff that she was posting online. Her updates about online for everyone else to see were all fake as well. To make things even more bizarre, this 25-year-old graphic design student had not even been to south-east Asia like everyone thought she was. It was all a lie and everybody fell for it.
There was one huge revelation that shocked everyone. Even you would have never thought this would be possible because we only get to see this type of incidents in movies and films. It was the fact that Zilla had not gone abroad at all. She was instead, Zilla staying in her own home right here in Amsterdam. So although it was looking as though she was having the time of her life backpacking through Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos for many weeks, Zilla was always there in Amsterdam right from the start. She had everyone fooled and she made sure she was not caught by putting up a lot of effort.
42 Days In Disguise
So it runs out the Zilla had indeed faked the whole trip that she was so excited to take. SHe had not reached south-east Asia at all, nor did she ever leave Amsterdam. She was there like everyone else and she managed to pull this prank of sorts by fooling everyone she knew. So where was she you ask? Well, for the last 42 days, Zilla was actually right there in her own apartment in Amsterdam. She was putting on so much effort to not get caught by the people that knew her. She even went to the extent of putting on disguises just to make sure that no one she knew ever caught her red handed.
But then what about all of her online updates? She managed to pot so many photos every day. So where did she manage to take the photos she had posted online? This was one big question that everyone had flying around in their heads. It really was confusing for all. But as we all know Zilla was a graphic designer. So she made use of her skills by using Photoshop to keep herself in photos and manipulate these images to appear as though she was exploring all these wonderful places. Her editing skills were so good that it had everybody fooled and these people had no idea to question if her trip was for real or not.
Zilla had her fair share of explanation as to why she would do such a strange thing. She was obviously approached by her loved ones to get explanations. “The inspiration for this project came from combining my two passions together: photo manipulation and traveling,” Zilla had explained. “I wanted to prove how easily reality gets distorted.” So what did she do? Zilla had spent most of her 42-days focused on her experiment as she made use of her time in photoshopping photos to upload online. She was extremely driven to make her point and it turned out to work.
Keeping Up Appearances
Wait till you hear about all of the efforts Zilla had to put in order for this experiment to be a successful one. She had to properly plan everything out so that no one got to point out any flaw in her master plan. So what about all the hotels she stayed in you ask? Zilla actually transformed her apartment to appear as though it resembled the interiors of a hotel room in Asia. She would also set the alarm, just to wake up and Skype with her family and some friends. This was again an effort to prove that she was indeed in a different part of the world with a different time zone.
It was a little weird that no one knew about her not leaving her home because they were all in the same city. However, the only one who Zilla told her plans to that she would be in Amsterdam was her boyfriend. So maybe he had a lot to do with convincing her other loved ones that she was actually abroad. So by the time her 42-days’ ‘vacation’ was over, Zilla revealed the truth about her experiment. Her plan went smoothly with no one ever questioning about her whereabouts. But however, although most of the people she fooled were okay that this was for a school project, some people were hurt that she lied to them all those days.
To do something this extreme and put so much work to execute it, Zilla must have a very good reason to do so. She was obviously asked to explain why she would do such a thing. “I did this to show people that we filter and manipulate what we show on social media,” Zilla explained as she told others about her experiment. “Thereby 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.” It was for a school project but it did cause a lot of debate. She, in the end, proved that sometimes, what we see on social media is not always the whole truth.
An Unexpected Result
So in the end, Zilla did manage to show that it is that easy to manipulate our realities on social media. However, the part that she did not anticipate was how much of an effect her experiment was going to have on the people around her. “If I had the chance to do it again, I don’t think I would do it again,” Zilla admitted. “I really underestimated the impact of the project on myself and the people around me!” So we can all agree that we should never base our impressions of people just by looking at their social media. Sometimes we are more than our status online, and sometimes we are less than it.
We often fall for social media posts that lie. However, here we have 5 posts that catch these people posting blatant lies.
This Make You Feel Good?
Some people would go such a long way to validate their existence. As you can see from the above image, this person thought she could get away by posting something that suggests that she is beautiful. Someone did not come to play as they soon commented about how this image is a lie. Google search was the easiest way to K.O this liar.
The Photoshop Fail
Everyone admires a good body. We all know that it takes hard work and patience to get abs and lose all our body fats. This boy here had the nerve to defend this poorly photoshopped picture of him that makes it seem as though he had developed abs. He is clearly not getting away with it as the comments are full of people laughing at him.