Appearances can be deceiving. Which incidentally is the mantra for social media success. If your Facebook doesn't have a hundred likes on each phase of your hairstyle change, you have failed. Life is rather simple like that. That blue thumbs up is all you need to be successful. Monks, Brad Pitt and Batman have spent years meditating on mountain tops. All that work done just to attain the much desired dose of social media likes.
The truth is, if you appear successful, people follow you like mice behind a smelly cheese truck. And being rich is a great way to announce success. Or so it appears if you trawl through Twitter, home of apparently almost 48 million bot accounts (meaning mostly fake). Here, everyone and every bot appears rich, successful and full of all the qualities that make you question your existence.
Here's how people all over do it.
The quickest, easiest, laziest way is to put up photos of gadgets. Remember when the iPhone X came out? Everyone and their grandmothers seemed to have a picture of the box posted. “Love the notch, hate the notch, but we all had money to buy it regardless.” Well, except for those of us wistfully watching it on our cracked two-year old Samsung. An iPhone is the next best thing to showing off gold bars. Most people do not have gold bars so an iPhone will suffice.
The cheesiest way is to show actual wads of cash. How about a thick envelope that represents your payday. Or a gift from a girlfriend or two?
But if you want to be more discerning, more posh, you go for something less of a slap in the face with a rotten fish. Selfies are the magic word. Where skill and the ability to wield a sword once made you famous, now all you need is a selfie. And if you pose with a sword, even better. I know, because I have one somewhere—a magic sword made using a 3D printer at a tech expo. But I was there for work and it didn't make me appear all cool and rich. For that, you need something less attainable.
Look to the Russians for that inspiration. A Russian company called Private Jet Studio offers a service where you can be photographed in a private jet. They have a grounded plane where people can be seen stepping in, stepping out of, or lounging about the aforementioned jet. Just like the celebrities. You can be seen dreamily looking out a window, offered food, given a massage. They may even shoot you in the plane fighting Niam Leeson because you know that's what he does best. You are only limited by your imagination and wallet. USD 250 gets you a two-hour photoshoot with a professional photographer.
We can do the next best thing when our wallets do not run so deep. We simply post a picture of ourselves with a carry-on luggage, passport, wristwatch and fancy shoes. Hashtag the hell out of it with #vacaytime, #MEtime, #ROLEXforLife, #Flyboy(girl), #SucksToBeYou. Because flying out is the only way to travel. Even if yours is an economy class trip to Borishal. You're quickly letting the world know they are beneath you, literally 35,000 feet below.
We know that is a little difficult, since in Bangladesh, we cannot just pop into our airports and take a photo posing with that great philosophy book we promise to read on our imaginary flight. So the next best thing is to take pictures of food, preferably pricey coffee in tiny cups. That too complemented by a half-hidden book under a napkin. It is an understated version of leaning against a car pretending it is yours.
Say you want to up your game in the professional world. You need awards and online certifications that show you're a person to be online-reckoned with. Even better, make your own awards and place them strategically all around your desk. I once worked for a signage company that made their own awards of excellence. I made one for myself, one that says 'Makes the Best Damn Coffee In teh Country' because frankly, I earned it. Except maybe for the typo on the inscription where it reads 'teh'. Curate your photos well, and you too can appear stinking rich and successful.
Ehsanur Raza Ronny is a confused dad, all-round car guy, model car builder, and cartoonist. He is also Editor of Shift (automobiles), Bytes (technology), and Next Step (career) of The Daily Star.