What? People are actually glossing over the rubbish and leading us straight to the excitement? They're editing the highlights to make themselves appear more interesting than they really are?
This is not in the least bit surprising. No-one wants to post a photo of themselves looking like they actually are, we want to feel permanently good about ourselves. We take 16 photo's and choose the one we like best, or give up and use that one photo from 8 years ago where we think we looked cool. We don't want to tell you that we spent 3 hours today doing washing or that our son just changed into his 4th set of clothes for the day because he wee'd on the way home from dropping his brother at nursery. Well, not unless it has great comedy value...
We're used to the concept that stalkers and other unwanted pests might lurk on the Internet pretending to be something they aren't, so surely it shouldn't surprise us that actually people with entirely honest intentions might just be doing similar. It's airbrushing, enhancing and editing, it's not really lying, right?
We want to be witty and intelligent and lead amazingly interesting lives. We don't want to record or imply the mundane, and we certainly won't be broadcasting news that we lost our temper or said something inappropriate.
Having a blog is one of the ultimates in Social Media airbrushing. Everything can be re-written, cropped and polished until you're completely happy (usually around 3am) with exactly what impression you give. No-one can reply or interrupt while you re-word something that even you feel turned out to be a pile of complete drivel.
|Sunny Holiday Dream|
|60mph Hurricane Holiday Nightmare|
|Perfect Tart Illusion|
|Burnt Tart Reality|
You can look like you spend all day, every day playing with your children in an exciting and educational way, rather than half of it in Tesco and the other half washing poo off wellies, and you never ever shout at anyone or grumble about getting out the 15th jigsaw of the afternoon.
|Sibling Love Unreality|
|Sibling Love Reality|
Thing is, I don't know about you, but I'm getting so used to the airbrushing that it has a different effect on me now. I don't just see the lovely cake, I see the chip in the plate or I know the mess the kitchen will be. I look for dates on photo's and find the blurred patches where the edit took place. I re-read sentences that don't completely make sense and work out what it used to say. I see the cuts in a video and I know why I'd have had to make them. I wonder who or what has been cut out of cropped photo's. I look at different status updates from people at the same event and snigger at the differences in the stories.
I've actually become so cynical that whenever I do something to my own acceptable standards first time, I don't quite believe it myself....I feel it must need some airbrushing. I look for the accidental double-entendre or the bag of rubbish at the edge of a photo, and surely it'll work better in natural light, so would you mind looking surprised again? I reword mundane to be more exciting, and I don't tell you about the day spent in the tent trying to stop the kids treading mud everywhere and holding the roof up with bits of gaffer tape, instead I tell you about the fact we spent our time playing cards as a family and singing along to some local radio station and it's cheesy pop tunes.
Remember.....objects on the Internet may not be as real as they seem..
|What I actually look like today|