Monday, 6 March 2017

Behind the filter

We all know there's a fair amount of filtering that goes on behind the scenes on the many images that we are bombarded with on a daily basis. Whether it be a nice shiny filter on Instagram, a grainy black and white image to disguise 3am feed eye bags (yes that's a thing), or cropping out the screaming toddler from the idyllic countryside shot.  These filtered images sit happily alongside the more candid, and often funny shots of actual real-life, and to be honest, I like seeing a mixture of the two.  

I love a filter as much as the next person, but sometimes it can really feel that all the pictures are doing is holding a magnifying glass up to your not-so-perfect life.  It sometimes tricks you into thinking that your own life is lacking.  We actually compare our lives to snapshots of someone else's.  

I watched a YouTube video by Wayne Goss about how make up artists were actually using filters in their videos and I couldn't believe that it never occurred to me that this could happen. I also never really registered that the use of lights could transform someone's appearance from looking relatively normal, to 'flawless'.  I can't tell you the amount of times that I've looked in the mirror and wondered why my skin doesn't look like the YouTube tutorial I had just watched. 

I'm not saying that we shouldn't use filters, or that using the best picture possible is a bad thing, but it's so important we don't lose sight of the reality.  Sure, life has it's picture perfect moments, but it also has those really crappy moments too.  Life is a combination of the up's and down's, the highs and lows. 

Social media is an amazing platform, but it's also a platform for comparing every single part of our lives if we let it.  From our looks and our families, to our parenting and lifestyle choices.  Aspiration and goals are one thing, but sometimes we have to see through the smoke and mirrors of what we see online.  I want my daughters to grow up knowing what's real and what's not, and not aspiring to something that doesn't even exist.  

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