While Instagrammers flooded feeds with snaps from this year’s Coachella festival, at least one was faking the whole thing — and she’s admitted to everything.
Instagram and YouTube influencer Gabbie Hanna faked an entire trip to Coachella in an effort to lift the lid on the nature of social media and how easy it is to trick followers.
Hanna posted images every day of Coachella’s second weekend, edited to appear as if she was in Palm Springs and at the festival grounds, while in reality she was just at a friend’s house.
She captioned the photos and used popular festival hashtags, which have all been edited now to clarify she was never there, saying “Oops, I faked it all”.
Hanna filmed the entire process and posted it to YouTube to explain how and why she did it all.
In the clip she spoke about the “weeks of preparation and thousands of dollars” people were putting into outfits, hair, make-up and accommodation “just for Instagram pictures”, saying: “It seemed like a lot of people weren’t looking forward to Coachella.
She refers to it as an “investment” for influencers as getting noticed can lead to a huge jump in a person’s number of followers, but “it feels like a lot of work”.
She even spoke about people she knew who took twice as many outfits to the first weekend of Coachella and did photoshoots so they could pretend they had gone to weekend two as well.
Which is why she decided to show just how easy it is to fake it, and why you shouldn’t believe everything you see on social media.
“People look at people on Instagram and social media, and they think, ‘Wow their life is impossibly perfect’. That body, that vacation, that car — so much of it’s fake, and that’s OK,” she says in the video.
“I’m not shading anybody who does that on social media because it is a viable career, but for an average viewer who’s just watching these things and is firing for these things, just know that those things aren’t always as attainable as they seem.”
This article originally appeared on the New Zealand Herald and was reproduced with permission