This robot can sort recyclable materials without even so much as a peek at them
The YouTubers faking trips around the world seem to be missing their own point.
Popular influencers are tricking their followers by staging vacations around the world, often without even leaving their home countries. Through some skillful Photoshops, elaborate planning, and careful posing, influencers almost manage to convince their followers that they’re really traveling to places like Italy and Japan.
But while they claim they’re calling out social media for portraying constant perfection, the criticism falls flat coming from influencers.
As YouTuber Liraz Roxy noted in a video about her faked trip to Bora Bora, “If you have Instagram nowadays, you can pretty much fake everything, from your relationship to literally your lunch … and it’s so, so easy.”
With a bag of leis and a few leftover photos from a vacation to Hawaii — which she pointed out was a cheaper trip from Los Angeles than buying an international ticket to Indonesia — she tricked her followers into believing that she was actually spending a luxurious week on a Polynesian island.
“Please you guys, don’t be depressed over something you don’t know for sure because it can still be fake,” she concluded.
The London-based YouTube channel Meet The Vloggers echoed a similar sentiment in their video about pretending to visit New York City. The video opens with an intense voiceover questioning whether the trio of vloggers can even pull it off.
“What you’re about to witness will make you question everything you see on social media,” the narration states. “Have we taken the lie too far? Will our subscribers ever believe us again?”
Most recently, vlogger Gabbie Hanna pulled off a staged weekend at Coachella without once leaving the greater Los Angeles area. She offered some thoughtful insight on the people who actually do go to the desert music festival.
“It seemed like a lot of people weren’t looking forward to Coachella,” she said, listing the extensive cost of the festival and the numerous outfits, meals, and accommodations that go along with it. “There’s a lot of people that go to Coachella who do not enjoy the experience just because they’re going for Instagram pictures. And that to me, feels stressful.”
In an effort to make a statement on how nothing on social media is real, the influencers seem to miss a crucial point: Despite calling out others for traveling for clout, they’re still profiting off their faked Instagram posts.
Despite calling out others for traveling for clout, they’re still profiting off their faked Instagram posts.
After posting a photo of herself against a Photoshopped desert backdrop, Hanna noted that she had never received as many tags and reposts as she did with the faux Coachella post. Earlier in the video, she said that fellow YouTuber Nikita Dragun gained 100,000 followers after posting Coachella weekend — so even if Hanna faked it, she was still benefitting from the status symbol that is attending the festival.
While it’s admirable that influencers are using their massive platforms to call out the pressure for perfection on Instagram, hearing it from influencers feels a bit hypocritical. Even though the gag isn’t as insensitive or dangerous as other YouTube pranks, like faking a pregnancy or walking around blindfolded, critiquing Instagram culture by faking a perfect trip is disingenuous because they’re still portraying a perfect life.
“I know a lot of people look at people on Instagram and social media and think, ‘Wow their life is impossibly perfect,” Hanna said in her Coachella video, acknowledging that she can’t judge because she’s also an influencer. “Looks and appearances are important when it comes to branding and your social presence … just know that those things aren’t always as attainable as they seem.”
You have to admit that the challenge is way more cost effective than actually traveling, though.