Let’s face it, most people nowadays, at least those under the age of 60, lead a double life—there’s their real, day-to-day existence, and then there’s their Insta-filtered life.
In the latter, they’re thinner, they’re cellulite and wrinkle-free, their teeth are sparkling white, they’re always hanging out with friends, laughing, socializing, traveling, living and experiencing everything to the full.
Carefree, brimming with positivity and all-round wellness—it’s inspirational, it’s envy-inducing, it’s a friggin’ 1990s’ tampon ad.
Rollerblading on the beach (how is that even possible?!!) while being pulled along by three gorgeous dogs and playing footie with a team of beautiful besties during your period…not a tub of ice cream, a bar of chocolate, an unbearably painful burst of cramps, an inexplicable sobbing bout or a bitchy outburst in sight. Ah! What a wondrous and fun fake life!
Sadly however, most people’s everyday, actual real life is as boring and torturous as being forced to watch some stranger’s kid’s five-hour-long school concert (minus the possible humor that could accidentally occur during that ordeal).
So, some decide to fake it till they make it, going to great lengths, and considerable financial expense, in the hope of sharing their phoney fabulousness with as large an audience as possible.
Just about everything materially (and some would argue human too) can be bought, it’s just a matter of economics. So, of course, social media accounts and followers are no different.
There are thousands of companies that promise to provide Instagram, Facebook and Twitter “followers”, for the right price, helping make your fake life even faker by being followed by thousands of fake people.
The crowning fake jewel in anybody’s fake Insta-life though is gaining a coveted blue tick, which means the interweb gods have “verified” your account.
You’ve made it. You’ve been verified—by Mark Zuckerberg no less! ! Your fake life is like, positively verifiable now. And, it only costs between $2,000 – $20,000—a verifiable bargain, one might say.
Celeb Magazine spoke to an insider, who used to run one of the companies that offer to add more F to your fake, and he dished on the who, why, and how.
“People love having thousands of followers and they love being known,” the source says. “They crave exposure and celebrity, and they think the best way to get it is by having millions of ‘fans’. We live in a society where a huge social media presence and a blue checkmark is what matters.
“I would charge anywhere between $2,000 to $10,000 for Instagram accounts. The easiest way to get somebody verified was for them to be written about, or mentioned in the media, and that’s actually pretty easy to achieve if you know the right publications.
“Anyone can get any kind of lie written about them by a ‘contributor’ on certain media outlets and then you’re able to apply for verification. The more articles written about you, the better your chances of getting verified.
“Websites such as FameSwap sell PR set-ups and promise to get customers IG verification, but a lot of those companies are just a scam. I’ve seen up to $20,000 being charged for verification services.
“But, you’ll send them the money and you’ll ultimately receive nothing in return—and worst of all, you’ve got no recourse because you paid some shady site like FameSwap in bitcoin.”
The source shared a copy of one company’s pitch letter, offering to write up a phony press release for customers seeking verification—which, they admit, was successful “in one case”.
Service type: Press Release Article
Description: Hello everyone, my company XXXX Media has been excelling at social media growth and marketing for roughly 3 years now and we recently began our Press Release Article service. Here is a little run down
Our press release service is by far our most popular, although it is new to our company we have had countless amounts of successful releases.
For our PRS we start out by having one of our writers take your topic and develop a press release article. After you approve it we begin sending it out to websites like ABC7, Fox, The Times, NBC29, and many more. These are perfect if you are looking to boost positive press on your business, increase your SEO, and more.
We have used this everywhere from helping people get verified (these articles usually don’t work for that but we have had one case where it did),
helping people bury negative articles about their website, gain recognition for their company, and more!
List of some of the sites that this service include:
- The Global Tribune
and many more!
Turn around time is roughly 4 days, we allow 2 days for our writer to finish the article, and 2 days for us to publish it.
It is GUARANTEED to hit over 250+ major news publications.
Move over Ernest Hemingway, there’s a new literary great in town. With writing skills like XXXXX Media’s behind you, you’re likely to become more famous than Kylie Jenner within a month, or less! (probably, not probably).
“Execs eventually got wise to how these companies were playing the system though and they changed the verification process,” the source explains.
“However, there are people who actually work for Instagram and Facebook who will sell an existing username that’s not only in use but is also already verification streamlined,” the source continues.
“I used to buy and sell Instagram accounts,” he admits. “Once the customer had paid for the account, they would want me to change the existing username over to theirs, or to a totally different, random one that’s not in the same niche— that could cause the buyer to lose 30-50 percent of their newly purchased followers on the account. But the price they were willing to pay for Instagram fame.
“Typically I was selling accounts to people who thought they were more important than they actually were. Essentially it’s all about feeding the ego and looking like your life is happier and better than everyone else’s.”
Because we’re human, and we’re all trying to navigate an oftentimes crazy and inhumane world, life in 2020 can be a pretty taxing and exhausting experience.
In fact, the World Health Organization reports that globally, over 264 million people suffer from depression, making it the leading cause of disability and resulting in close to 800,000 suicides a year.
WHO also claims suicide is the second leading cause of death when it comes to 15-29-year olds, a truly heartbreaking statistic. But, you wouldn’t have a clue about any of that if you spent an hour scrolling through social media.
The stigma that still surrounds depression, in addition to society’s inability or unwillingness to deal with mental health struggles, is a major contributor to the suicide epidemic we’re experiencing. The Washington Post reports that there are now twice as many deaths by suicide than there are homicides each year.
Now, let’s be honest, dealing with a deeply depressed person can be really fucking draining and well, kind of just downright depressing (I should know, I’m diagnosed bipolar and I’ve subjected way too many poor people to my dark spells and drama over the years).
But, the alternative is undoubtedly way more painful ultimately and, most definitely, way more permanent.
However, the USA is obsessed with “positive thinking” (I’ll expand on the dangers and problems that come along with that ideology at a later date—try to contain your excitement in the meantime).
It’s viewed as “damaging” and “bad” somehow to be anything but a kind of living, breathing version of one of those ridiculous and hollow inspirational memes people seem to love so much.
So it’s little surprise that social media is littered with memes, polluted with fake depictions of positive states of mind, and happy fulfilling lives—it’s the life people want and need everybody to believe they’re living, because the alternative—oh shit son—would be like admitting to failure, right?!!
In truth, burying depression and giving in to the pressure to always be positive, no matter what! can be hugely detrimental to a person’s wellbeing, and devastatingly damaging to others who are struggling.
But, c’mon, at the end of the day, who cares about other people, right? Unless, of course, they’re there to witness how wonderful and amazing YOUR fake life is, then, BRING IT!
Then, we can really care about people, as many of them as possible, please. STAT!
Meanwhile, if you are battling depression, it may feel impossible right now, but believe me–try to realize, and try to remember–that it WILL, and it DOES pass. It WILL get better.
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide and you’re looking for a sign not to kill yourself, this is it.
Finally, if you are in crisis, or worried that somebody else might be, call
Please keep living, we need you…..the real you.