I have a friend who refers to facebook as frontbook, and he's right -- you get to choose what image (or "front") you put out there. Some might simply keep friends and family aware of what's happening in their lives (graduations and puppies and marriage and babies, you know). Others may cave to self-pity, cynicism, or oversharing. A few could be looking for validation in all the wrong places. Still others may carefully curate images to "build their brand".
Personally, it's been a ton of fun sharing my #100daysofcreativeplay with friends old and new. Those I don't know or haven't spoken to in years have reached out, sharing their own creative experiences, making their own connections.
So don't get me wrong -- social media can foster community in a beautiful way. The point I'm getting at is -- we each have our filter for what is shareworthy. I believe our culture, age, interests, relationship status, friends, mental health form our filters. And then we filter again:
This morning, I played with PicsArt, perhaps a more robust Prisma, which you've likely heard of. During our southern snowpocalyse a few weeks ago, I snapped a few photos of the bamboo in our neighborhood with my phone. It was beautiful against the snowy backdrop, so I decided to do some filtering of my own. Some transformed into prominent art styles of the past and present, others only minor color and line adjustment. I'm calling this series Filtered Reality.
While it's fun to over-engineer our photos, I hope we won't over-engineer how our lives are perceived. We can't be responsible for how others perceive us, nor should we be overly concerned with it, but I do hope we'll cling to authenticity. I hope our hearts and worth won't be too tangled up with our number of likes, comments, or followers -- avoiding a quasi-high school set inside our virtual worlds. I hope you'll invite a friend to your home or meet for coffee or make a gift for someone.