The one thing I enjoy about social media is that you can manipulate an entire audience to believe one thing by excluding the rest of the story. I’ve somehow managed to trick a population of people into thinking I’m cool. How? I’m honestly not sure, but hey, I’ll take it.
Something tells me that it has something to do with my tendency to post more about the fun stuff I do, and sharing less of the mundane activities. Thinking about it, no one gets to see the side of me that lays in bed all day binge-watching "Scream Queens" on Netflix with a bowl of grapes.
My own self-pride would say that that doesn't make me a boring person, but that I'm selective of what I share on the Internet, where I share it, and with whom. And I'm not the only one. In a similar context, if you've ever have taken hundreds of selfies, you would post only the good ones that came about.
Naturally, we highlight the best of ourselves by controlling what pictures and videos are shown to our audience. We’re all guilty of posting only the best photos of ourselves, or bragging in the form of status updates. Besides, what person in their right mind would knowingly want to destroy their own brand?
It goes to say how gullible the age of the internet tends to be however. We control our own self-image just as markets control theirs. It's not completely our fault that we cannot see illusions for what they are — a mere illusion. Stories are continuously spun to portray events in either a positive or negative light and often don’t include the other side of the story in a sort of reach to boost their reasoning.
It doesn't help that we’re excessively being told new information, information that our ancestors didn’t have the divine luxury of having in their early times. Living in the age of info-glut, it’s easy to receive bits and pieces of a story—but are we really grasping the full story? The dangerous thing about media is that, without full context of a video or picture, we’re left with making a self-made judgement based on the information we’re told, often skewed by the source.
Visual media is easy to manipulate for the viewer to focus on particular aspects and blur the vital information that are a key component to answering who, what, when, where, and why?
Because we have to be critical of the information we see online, it is an obligation, not only to ourselves, but to others, to seek out more information than is given. Seeing that the information we are receiving is only a piece to a larger story.