DO YOU WANT THE TRUTH OR SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL?
Walking the dog today I habitually snapped away at the stunning scenery, eye-wateringly yellow rapeseed fields against cartoon-blue Simpsons sky; monochrome dog in clear waters.
I automatically looked at what I’d snapped, pressed ‘enhance’, mucked about with it for 20 seconds, achieved the effect that I wanted and posted the resulting images. One on Twitter and one on Instagram.
I know the FX that I like. I use them a lot. I know the effect that I want to achieve and I can do it in a matter of seconds – we all can.
But today, I stopped for a bit longer than usual and allowed the thought that I have every time I do this (apart from the first few times when I mainly thought ‘this is brilliant!’) to swim round in my head just a little bit longer than usual. The thought that says:
Why not just post the truth?
I’m guilty of skim reading stuff and for getting half-arsed ideas for half-formed plays from my hastily absorbed surface knowledge. That’s how I’ve stumbled through the past 20 years or so as an actor/cleaner of british gas vending machines/waitress/director/Animateur/writer/visual artist/blagger.
But sometimes something sticks and I heard someone say something on the radio the other day (see?) that went something like:
“Is there a danger in all this enhancement? Are we seeing the world through rose-tinted spectacles. What about when we take them off? Are we in for a huge disappointment?” etc. etc.
(I’m pretty sure someone will point out to me who said this and what they actually said, but this was definitely the gist.)
And on the same day, on the same radio, I heard the song by Paloma Faith: “Do You Want The Truth or Something Beautiful?” – and it seemed to my cherry-picking brain that these two sentiments were the same thing and chimed with my increasing low level stress about the pressure to present the enhanced image along with the Twitter and Facebook polished nuggets.
So I got to the point – as I am here – and thought:
What if I ask people, just for a day perhaps, to post the truth. True Twitter and Facebook updates and unenhanced photographs. We could call it #TheTruth and take it from there.
We can all debate what the truth really is and how our cameraphones don’t take a true image anyway and how we only want to put the interesting stuff up because why would we think people want to read the mundane stuff (and we all know what a barrel of shite THAT is)…
And I’m a huge fan of social media used well. I use it for all sorts of reasons and am the first to underline it’s benefits by taking an immediate, vague and defensive stance to anyone who suggests it may be a waste of time…
But I do think there’s a debate to be had about The Truth.
So I’d just like to try it. See where it goes. You in?