“With the advent of electronic technology, photography has the capacity to become a vanity medium, providing us with a precisely controlled view packaged as perception. Those in power can take advantage of it’s enhanced capability to deceive and more expertly project their own worldview, camouflaging it as reporting.” (Ritchin, 2010, p.125)
Woman taking ‘selfie’ picture (stock image). Credit: © Andrey Kiselev / Fotolia
Nowadays, social media became a vessel of identity and reality creation. What is “real” is controlled, with cameras and selfies everywhere, platforms such as Instagram provide a space to share and compare.
Electronic technology has become a vanity medium, in which we can supply online with our narcissistic’s urges and needs. What we see is not the real, but is a controlled “camouflaged”, as described above, of what someone wants to be real. As Barthes analyses in Mythologies, talking about the world of wrestling and the difference between what is real and what is shown to the audience. It is the same here, what we see on Instagram and other platforms is a performance, and not necessarily the truth. But wait, is there such thing as truth?
“Reality” is formed by personal interpretations, cultural influences and context. With the constant exposure to these cultural myths, it is hard to go around them and create something more original. I personally try to be aware of them, but sometimes I see myself recreating them, as I am also a product of this culture. But, at the same time, one can try to exercise the mind to see these “lies” and try to be more original and authentic to the self.