I’ve recently given a lot of thought to social media and on how much that is really fake, especially on Instagram. Everyone is struggling to be better, cooler, richer, hotter, etc. in order to grow and get a lot of followers – and while doing this, a lot of them are faking a lot of their content. But do you really have to fake it ’til you make it? Read on to find out what I think of the matter.

Fakecation – to fake a vacation

A few weeks ago, I was invited to do an Instagram-collaboration with Finavia/Helsinki Airport via Boksi (a popular influencer marketing platform here in Finland) regarding a competition they wanted to boost. The task was to post a photo carousel on Instagram consisting of one “fakecation” photo, and one behind-the-scenes photo of when you arranged the “fakecation” photo.

Before I could decide on what kind of photo I wanted to post, I decided to do some research. First, I had to find out what “facecation” really means – so I Googled it. Urban Dictionary has a lot of definitions of what a fakecation is, but to sum it up; a fakecation is to fake a vacation (or that is at least one definition of it) – which can be done by posting photos from a destination and pretending to be there (while in reality, you’re still at home). A fakecation photo can also be a photoshopped photo, or a completely “made up” photo like this one.

I decided to Photoshop myself into a typical LA-photo, and pretend that I was in LA. See the result below.

Fake it 'til you make it on social media?

I was so surprised by how many people who actually believed it and thought that I was actually in LA! I got a lot of comments on the photo telling me to “have a good time in LA”, “oh I wish I was there too”, etc. Fooling people with posting a fakecation photo was surprisingly easy, and this made me research some more…

People really ARE faking it and trying to make it

When Googling the matter further, I came across this article, dishing on the Swedish influencer Johanna Emma Olsson who’s apparently being slammed for her fake travel photos. I then took a look at the photos in her Instagram-feed, and well… It’s very obvious on some photos that she are Photoshopping herself into famous travel destinations! Genious or plain stupid..?

“…who says you AREN’T allowed to fake your travel photos on Instagram..?”

She’s obviously doing a great job faking her way to success, as she does have over a half million followers! So maybe she is a genius after all, because who says that you AREN’T allowed to fake your travel photos on Instagram..? If you do it well and make it a thing – why not? But of course, if she’s doing it and really trying to fool her followers – her followers will most probably feel fooled and see her as fake. Which could result in them unfollowing her, boycotting her, etc. But as her follower number is over half a million, she does have some followers who’re staying despite all the fakeness – so let’s just call her a genius and leave it at that.

But why is it so important to make it, that you’d fake your way to the top?

The reason why faking it ’til you make it is such a popular thing on social media, and especially on Instagram, is because big numbers on social media accounts equal a good payday. The more followers likes and comments you have – the bigger the pay when companies do collaborations with you. So it all comes down to money, doesn’t it always? No wonder some people are trying to fake their way to the top, even on social media.

But would you do it? Personally, I wouldn’t. Of course, I am dependent on money just as much as everyone else, but still… I could never sacrifice my honesty in order to make more money, I just couldn’t. I value honesty higher than money. But as other will keep on faking it on social media, it’s up to us honest people to judge whether or not we wanna support these people trying to fake their way to the top or not. As with anything else, it’s up to yourself.

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