It happened mostly by accident. I found myself traveling the same weekend that one of the world’s most eligible bachelors was tying the knot. As a joke, when I “checked in” at the airport on Facebook I quipped that I was on my way to Venice for the big event #clooneywedding2014. Before I knew it, my inside joke to my cousin, Christine, whom I was visiting in Florida, took on a life of its own. Each place I visited throughout the weekend, I tagged myself in various locations in and around Venice, Italy. Christine and I were careful to take photos of ourselves with generic and benign backgrounds. I googled the name of restaurants and canals and checked myself in there, despite being over 5,000 miles away. Thanks to the paparazzi and our celebrity-hungry voyeuristic society, the internet quickly turned up several pics of the happy couple and wedding weekend scenes that I was able to lift and blur in order to make it appear that 1) I was really there, and 2) I took the picture myself.
What was the point of all of this subterfuge?
Well, it was a HUGE amount of fun – especially when it became obvious that so many of my Facebook friends really believed I was there. But mostly this was a social experiment turned lesson. My mother always said, “Believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see.” Turns out she was right, and a bit ahead of her time, as she said that some 30 years ago. For all of us who often look longingly at the perfect and happy lives and travels of others on Facebook or any other number of social networks, STOP IT. Don’t be so gullible, don’t even begin to entertain it as it reality. As the evidence proves, it’s way too easy to fake it.
To my Facebook friends, my sincerest apologies for the deception. To my cousin Christine, thanks for an amazing weekend, albeit state-side, and for helping me have so much fun in Florida and Italy simultaneously. Special shout out to the places in Florida that I actually patronized: Sicilian Oven (Coral Springs location – FANTASTIC!), Tavolino Della Notte (best sangria EVER), YOLO (because hey, yolo!), Bull Market (which is WAY more than just a few blocks from YOLO), and Oceans 234 (get the Oceans Breeze Bloody Mary, you won’t be disappointed).