As Jill Walker Rettberg in her book Seeing Ourselves Through Technology says, ‘[p]erhaps the reason we feel the need to take another, and another selfie, is in part that we, as the surrealists wrote in 1928, never seem able to create a photo that will ‘fully correspond to what you want to see in yourself’’’ (Walker Rettberg, 2014: 43). Technology has provided us with antidotes for these crises however in the shape of digital filters. Walker Rettberg believes ‘seeing ourselves through a filter allows us to see ourselves anew. Selfies can be raw and revealing. They can feel too authentic, too honest. Perhaps running them through a filter to boost the colours, overexpose the skin to hide imperfections or give them a retro tinge is sometimes the only way we can bear to share these images of ourselves’ (Walker Rattberg, 2014: 27).
I agree that running a photo through a filter can make us appear to look better and perhaps to reconstruct a younger self, or a self that was once slimmer, fitter, more shapely, or just the image we really are, or would be proud to be. Photoshop and filters help us to achieve this illusion; but that’s all it is, it may attract a stranger for a date; but the illusion is still false. The mirror reflects a physical truth and the eye sees the physical reality, the camera with the help of cleaver manipulation through software only really fools the self’s ego. But having said that, it appears that internet social conventions expects at least a white lie these days.
The original picture that I made for exercise 3.1 was a representation of myself that I see myself as and I added it to me Facebook page.
The Facebook responses:
Nice pic have you got a whippet to go with that hat
Cheer up mate!
Great picture! You look so much like your lovely Dad Shaun
It seems that most people still follow traditional expectations for a stereotypical self portrait, of a smiling or laughing face, expressing great joy and happiness. A serious or dead pan expression mostly draws negative or critical responses.
A modification to the photo using filters in Lightroom and I replace it on Facebook to see if I get new comments and what they will be.