“Seeing Ourselves Through Technology” Chapter 2 Notes

Key Terms:

Filter – This one might seem obvious, but it’s obvious because it’s a key term. The definition of a filter as found on dictionairy.com has three definitions but as discussed in the article, none of them have any mention of an Instagram or photo filter. All three definitions on dictionairy.com define it as something to remove impurities,

Analytical – Adjective of analysis which means to break something down to its basic or essential parts and determine their relations. They use this and the word filter to break down the meaning of picture filters, technological filters, and cultural filters.

Social Media As Filters – In the article, it is discussed that people on social media use different platforms as filters. For example, you have to express yourself through photos or videos on Instagram whereas on twitter you only have a limited amount of characters to say something. These all act as filters to how we express ourselves online and how we see other people.

“Bear to share” – No, this isn’t a reference to a grizzly bear you have to share, this is talking about the reason we filter our images. We seem to look at an image and think “why would I want to share this” or “gross, nobody wants to see my ugly face” so we put a filter on it to make a photo that isn’t very artsy into something that we see as artsy.

Misrepresentation – All of this filtering and sharing and changing can end up misrepresenting someone. The person taking a picture could happen to frame it in a way that they thought looked cool whereas someone else might see the same picture and think that they are sad and believe that they are a sad and gloomy person.


When we take a photo, we do more than just take that picture. We frame it, put ourselves into the picture with where it’s focused, what it’s a picture of, how it’s framed and what filter is on it. We do all these things while maybe only thinking of a few when we take the photograph. All of these can lead to misinterpretation of who we are online which can cause confusion about the persons true self. If we get hurt physically and we get cut, we might take a selfie of ourselves smiling and use a filter to filter out the injury just to make people think that we’re all okay or happy. We rarely see people posting selfies or pictures of something “normal” because we’re all trying to be artsy but might miss the obvious unfiltered images.



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