Camera app filters. Us smartphone photographer-wannabes love them.

Most camera apps allow users to change the look of their photos by selecting a filter. These filters allow almost any desired effect, from making the photo look vintage, to changing the colour entirely. For the sake of simplicity these filters each have a name: ‘Poprocket’, ‘1977’ and ‘Lily’ for example.

So, I take a photo on my phone; I apply the desired filter; I post the edited version online and then stroke my ego with each new ‘like’ I receive.

All my friends in social-network-land only ever see the doctored version, not the original. In their thinking, the filtered version is the only version.

Imagine someone sees the filtered image and likes it enough to re-post it.  Before they do so, they ‘enhance’ it by applying another filter of their liking. If this process is repeated, after a few shares and filters applied, the image will  be very different from the original. With every change, information is lost and the original photo is forgotten.

Brace yourself for the philosophical application…

We each have our very own personal filter. Every one of us sees life differently and our upbrining, personality, worldview, insecurities, past hurts etc. all serve to create our personalised life-filter. My filter is called ‘Symon’. Yours is called [insert name here].

Whether we realise it or not, we apply our ‘filter’ to each event every time we retell them.  We put our own unique spin on every occurrence… a filter in which we rarely are the bad-guy, a filter in which we look our best, a filter in which we are the one wronged, never the one who wrongs. Sadly, we are very good at it and I really do believe my ‘Symon’ filter makes repeats of my life experiences look so much better than the original.

Few of us are every really capable of conveying the events of the situation or conversation raw and unedited. After a few re-tellings, with each of the hearers and tellers applying their own life-filters to the story – the final version is very barely recognisable from the original.

How much of my opinion of someone is based on what someone else told me about that person? How many filters have people applied to the story to improve it to their liking?

Many a good-person have had their reputations severely tarnished because of this, and I have to wonder how much I have been at fault of enhancing distorting the story to benefit myself?

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (The Bible, Ephesians 4:29)