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Student uses Photoshop, Facebook to fool family into thinking she took trip to Asia

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AMSTERDAM (PIX11) — A 25-year-old student convinced her family she was on an exotic five-week vacation across South East Asia by sharing Photoshopped images to Facebook for the duration of her “trip.”

Zilla van den Born embarked on her five-week “journey” to prove a point about social media and its ability to deceive. It was also part of a graduation assignment.

“I did this to show that we filter and manipulate what we show on social media — we create an ideal world online which reality can no longer meet,” van den Born told Mail Online.

“My goal was to prove how common and easy it is for people to distort reality. Everyone knows that pictures of models are manipulated, but we often overlook the fact that we manipulate reality also in our lives,” van den Born told the website.

To convince her social media followers and family about the trip, the graphic design student went to the airport with her parents. She snapped a photo and posted it to Facebook with the caption “Ready to go!”

After parting ways, van den Born took a train back to her home in Amsterdam, where her project began.

With only her boyfriend in on the act, the graphic design student created elaborate images using Photoshop. Van den Born’s photo manipulation skills helped her convince relatives she visited Buddhist temples, snorkeled and sampled Asian cuisine.

Van den Born kept up the act by communicating with her parents via Skype with her “Thailand hotel” backdrop, which included old Christmas decorations, a folding fan and an umbrella with a dragon printed on it.

To make the trip even more convincing, she sent text messages in the middle of the night and bought “Asian souvenirs” that were actually purchased from local shops, Mail Online reported.

The truth was eventually revealed to her family and their reactions were recorded in a short video. Many of them appeared confused, but others ended up in laughter.