This woman faked a whole trip to Disneyland to make a point about Instagram
Have you ever found yourself 40 minutes deep in an Instagram trawling session and only realized how much time and brainpower you wasted once you'd scrolled so much that you actually made it back to your own profile? Yup, it can get bad.
Instagram addiction is a real thing, and - even in its mildest form - it's probably not doing you much good, because A) you could be making much better use of your time, and B) you might start thinking that the carefully selected and heavily edited pictures on Instagram are totally authentic depictions of reality. But they're not.
In order to demonstrate this, one photographer expertly hacked her own Instagram to trick her followers into thinking she went on a trip to Disneyland.
UK-based photographer Carolyn Stritch writes about her travels on her blog, The Slow Traveler. She uses her Instagram account to share pastel-colored pictures of her worldly explorations, as well as images of her just lounging around at home, usually posing with a book in one hand and a teacup in the other.
Earlier this month, she posted a picture of herself in bed cradling a cup of tea – nothing out of the ordinary from the rest of her grid. In the caption, Carolyn wrote:
"Tomorrow, I'm going to be 22! I'm treating myself with a trip to Californ-I-ay: I'm off to Disneyland to Instagram the hell out of Sleeping Beauty's Castle. I'll be putting myself to bed nice and early tonight: I'm flying tomorrow and coming home Monday (need a magic carpet, not an aeroplane)."
The next day, she posted a picture of the iconic Disneyland castle, posing as many travel Instagrammers do with her back turned, hat on and swishing a swishy dress for effect.
"I've taken myself off to California," she wrote in the caption. "There I am in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle – my crazy, self-indulgent 22nd birthday present to myself. Tomorrow I'll be back home and it'll be like it never even happened! I keep saying to myself: it's kind of fun to do the impossible. Life is what you make it!"
But hang on – how could all of this happen within two days? Would someone really be able to fly out on a Sunday from the UK to make it all the way to California, spend a day at Disneyland and then make it back by Monday?
Well, you could... if you faked it. Which is what Carolyn revealed she did. In a blog post titled "Why I hacked my own Instagram account", she wrote that none of her followers – not even family or friends – suspected anything was unusual about her posts, pointing out how deceptive Instagram can be.
"Question everything," she implored to her readers. Carolyn explained how not even the photo of her in bed was realistic – saying that she downloaded the FaceApp which altered her skin tone, cheekbones, lines and blemishes.
Thinking she looked ten years younger than she really was (which is 32, not 22, btw), she decided to take the experiment further and see if she could fool people into thinking she actually went to California for a day.
"I came up with a story: my FaceApped perfect self, who’s ten years younger than I am, flies off to Disneyland for the day, and somehow manages to photograph herself all alone in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
"I manipulated images, captioned them with a fictional narrative, and presented them as real-life."
She only revealed that it was all fake after she posted a cryptic glitchy video to Instagram a week after the Disneyland posts.
Don't believe everything you see, folks.