The Age of Filters: What Has Our Society Come To?

Do we feel more valued and accepted on social media than we do in real life?

Advertise on TMV

Do we feel more valued and accepted on social media than we do in real life?

I was lying on the couch minding my own business one day when my niece showed me a new “trick” on her phone that left us both giggling for the rest of the evening. That was a few years ago when Snapchat became a thing and most people used it for those ever-so-changing and crazy “filters”.

I admit it, despite my age, I still found it silly and amusing to see myself as a dog or cat or a punk, or even sing like a chipmunk! But what really grabbed my attention was those filters that made me look younger and prettier.

Years have passed, and other social media platforms have introduced the use of filters as well, and it is now considered the norm. There are many different types of filters to match people’s tastes. Some are beautiful, others are funny or scary.

But the truth is, so many people, especially women, have made it a habit to use filters when taking pictures to post on social media, including myself. So many of us would do anything to get more “Likes” and positive comments.

This new trend has left me wondering: Do we feel more valued and accepted on social media than we do in real life? Aren’t we all just yearning for admiration that gives us confidence in moments of weakness? It seems that our egos are amplified by the increasing number of likes from our friends and followers, even if they’re just admiring the filtered version of us. We feel like celebrities being adored by fans. But it doesn’t stop there…

When you think about it, filters come in various forms, types, and methods. It is no secret that mainstream media and social media alike have been used by many to filter out the truth for decades. Whether you are watching the news, or debating with someone on Twitter, you are bound to experience firsthand how some people, or news outlets, twist the truth and make judgmental remarks based on false information.

The fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinion does not mean that they have the right to impose their opinion on others. Wouldn’t it be better and more civilized if we filtered out lies, bad manners, unacceptable behavior, and rude remarks instead of the truth? Who gives anyone the authority to claim the truth for themselves anyway? What are the criteria by which they judge?

In this day and age, cultures have opened up to each other through globalization, and so many sub-cultures have emerged. People around the world try their best to show their best, to improve their image, and cover their shortcomings. Filters are necessary means to interact on a personal, social, cultural, and political level. But filters are a double-edged sword, and they fully depend on how they are used.

The diversity of cultures must be accepted, opinions should be respected, and the etiquette of dialogue should be taught in schools and universities.

I dream of a time when people would accept each other without judgment. Men and women, boys and girls, would not feel the need to use a filter to feel beautiful. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we just accepted one another unconditionally, without the need for filters that cover our true beauty? May it be the beauty of our faces, races, colors, religions, cultures, thoughts, and opinions.

Real beauty, in my opinion, comes from this diversity, and from within. Acceptance and understanding do not annul diversity. On the contrary, they celebrate it.