The internet of lies is real. Everything you see is fake. And everyone is pretending to be successful and rich when they’re not.
Money is one of those all-consuming idols that plagues our lives. Especially as Americans, our entire society runs off consumerism.
Turn on the TV and all you see are commercials. Open Facebook and you’re swarmed with relevant (and personally creepy) ads. All these advertisements poison your mind and make you believe you aren’t working hard enough or missing out on the good life – that these specific products are exactly what you’ve been looking for. That missing piece to make you happy.
But these are all lies. There is no single product out there to make you any happier than you are right now.
Sure, there’s the excitement of a new home or a new car smell, but none of these pleasures last. They are all temporary excitements, catching you in their trap, and hoping you repeat the same purchasing mistake next year.
Internet of Lies – Cars
There is a road in Sarasota, FL congested with car dealerships. It is one lot after another with no space in between – Audi, BMW, Lexus – all the beautiful high-end models of our dreams.
The problem is, every time I drive this road I seem to convince myself I need a new car. There is no logical explanation to those thoughts, and certainly no credible financial one (it would be a horrible decision in our current state), yet every emotion inside of me seems convinced I need a new car.
What’s funny too, is I drive this road to church. Every Sunday I find myself daydreaming about purchasing a new Maserati (what!?), then plop my butt in the pew for church. It’s quite the dichotomy of emotions.
Internet of Lies – Blogs
I read lots of travel blogs and watch YouTube videos. A common theme among them is it’s a fantasy.
These travel blogs make believe they’re relaxing on a picturesque white-sand Bali beach with an iPad in one hand and a fancy coconut drink in the other. That they’re “living the life.”
These are lies. That beach photo is staged and only 1% of the traveler’s life. And it’s also impossible to do real actual work on a beach. Who does that?
These travel bloggers are not “living the life.” They are uploading images and stories to make you jealous of their supposed “success.”
Internet of Lies – Edits
One of the YouTubers I like is the Eh Bee Family. They’re (internet) famous and do a bunch of wacky things. In the videos though, Mr. Bee says, “We’re going to show you fun things, and if it isn’t fun, we’re not going to show you.”
Um, yeah. That makes for great entertainment, but that’s not real life.
And that’s not the Eh Bee’s fault, or any of the travel bloggers fault – it’s all of our faults, collectively. It’s what we enjoy watching.
Sure, sometimes we like watching a good train wreck, but for the most part we like to fantasize about living a fabulous life. We don’t want to see the hard parts.
And the internet of lies is doing a great job of portraying that. Everyone is cutting out the hard parts. Everyone is editing.
Travel bloggers cut out the ridiculous hard parts and loneliness of travel (thankfully), the Eh Bee Family cuts out their family fighting (nor would I want to watch that), and professional money managers make you think they’re fabulously rich and happy (because they are).
Combined, everything makes you feel useless and like a piece of crap. It’s like, “Why are these people succeeding and I’m not?” I certainly makes you feel like a loser.
Internet of Lies – Real Life
My wife and I walk the Ringling bridge for one of our new Sunday rituals. There’s nothing glamourous about it, nothing to brag about, even though the sunsets are amazing. We’re getting out there to walk, and be active, and do a physical activity. That bridge is actually sort of tough to climb. I’d rather be at home watching football.
Regardless, last week we parked next to a camper van. The driver got out and popped open a drone, and sent it soaring over the bridge. He got some amazing photos, I’m sure.
It struck me that he could be travel blogger. There’s a movement of people living in camper vans and traveling the country. Good for them, I guess, but it seems a little extreme.
For a second I was jealous, thinking how he traveled the country and saw amazing sunsets every day.
But then I realized how horrible that life must be. You’re stuck in a tiny van, always on the road, bouncing from one place to the next. They make that life seem fantastic on the internet, but really how long can you put up with traveling in a van? A year or two? You’re eventually going to have to quit and get yourself a real house.
Because, frankly, that’s what I got to do after, was enjoy my real life – without the annoying stress of “van life.” We went out for dinner, then return to our comfortable home, watched a movie, and sleep in a proper bed.
I’m positive the camper van guy was fantasizing about my “normal boring” life. I guarantee it.
Internet of Lies – Action Steps:
- The internet is full of liars, don’t believe anyone
- Be satisfied with what you have, other people are jealous of you too
What types of things do you want? What blogs do you like? Do you think everyone is miserable and hiding it from you?