The Deception Technology Holds (Short Version)

*Disclaimer: the original of this was actually written by hand with pen and paper. It would have been ironic of me to complain of technology while using technology as the only form in which to communicate this.

Technology, as well as the part of society that is ruled by it, has begun to overwhelm and concern me. This first draft is being written on paper with use of a pen, instead of using my tiny iPhone 5. I do not believe I would have enough battery life to tell you why I am so concerned, and it would be contradictory as well. Let me explain.

I am currently on a train to Milwaukee because I have no car. I do quite a bit of driving usually, so I feel absolutely lost without my vehicle. It’s like oxygen to me. I can understand being dependent on a vehicle; it’s how we get to the grocery store (super market, to some),  as well as work, extra curriculars, etc. I don’t quite understand the dependence upon technology, however.

I love the fact that I am able to play a slew of songs on my iPhone (currently, it’s “Round Here” by Counting Crows). I love the fact that I can summon a map if I’m lost. I also love my Dictionary.com, IMDb, and banking apps, as well as being able to pull up 500 pictures of my daughter with just a few clicks. Technology has a lot of good uses, and by itself is not evil. What is evil is that it consumes our lives and well being. I know I am not the first person to have written about this. Sometimes it’s as simple as your phone dying and not being able to call someone because you have no need to remember phone numbers anymore. That is unfortunate, but that is not what I am going to write about.

While skimming through Facebook (first mistake), I came across an app called “Facetune.” It boasted that it was the “most powerful portrait photo editor around!” So now, you can use Photoshop on your face just like the rest of the celebrities and magazines you complain about on a daily basis! This is concerning on so many levels. This app basically advertises to people who are already insecure about themselves. Now you can make your dull pale skin into a flawless, tanned face. No more zits for you! Many people might see this as the perfect opportunity to take a “selfie” (now an actual word in the Oxford Dictionary!), and perfect it with their new app, and now upload it to your social media website(s) of their choice.

This poses some problems from the start. Take online dating, for example. I have heard stories from men who have done the online dating thing, and they will initiate a message conversation with someone, but when they meet in person, said person looked nothing like their picture suggested. Obviously, this is just one example. I could use many more, but I won’t bore you with that.

With this new Photoshop app, you are not just lying to other people, you are lying to yourself. It is so misleading, in fact, that I have to question whether I am looking at a photo of someone, or the perfect image of themselves.

The same can be said for music. Most “artists” that exist these days do not write their own lyrics or melodies. They use auto-tune to perfect their voices. They have ten producers on a track. They make more money releasing a single than they do an album. They use fake instruments (take drum machines, for example), and are essentially lying to us about how talented they really are. They put on very little effort when they tour, if they tour at all. They make a show out of lights and other stage props, but not themselves. As a musician myself, I find this insulting. I, as well as every other musician out there, put in countless hour and effort into the music that I play. I know I will never play every passage to perfection. The point of music is not to be perfect, it is to show and express emotion.

Getting back to Facetune, now. I am not perfect, and I never will be. I know that. I feel nothing but pity for those who have to alter the way they look just to get 20 “likes” on Facebook. I am insecure. There are many things I don’t like about myself. But if I have learned anything from discovering this app, it is that I could not lie about who I am as a person, and that my imperfections should not define me negatively. I should embrace them, because they are apart of me and I cannot change them. I hope my daughter will realize this sooner than I did. I hope she realizes that her imperfections are what make her special. It is not about the way you look. The way you use your mind is what you will be remembered by. If you cannot be honest with yourself, you need to go back to the drawing board titled “Values.”

So thank you, Facetune app, for causing me to rethink my perception of myself, and helping me to realize that there is more to me than meets the eye. I’m sure that was your plan the whole time.

photo

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~ by mmasters89 on November 27, 2013.

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