I take it back. THIS is a welcome home sunset ...

A #nofilter sun set. OR IS IT??? (Photo credit: foreverdigital)

I have a social media pet peeve.

Whenever people share photos online they always specify when there is no filter used with the hashtag #nofliter. And, I get it. So many people use filters to distort their photos that, when you actually do take a good picture, you want to point out that it’s good so you call attention to the fact that it has no filter. Everyone does it so it’s probably never occurred to you to stop and think about how weird it is.

Because it is really weird. You’re using a tag to denote that what you’ve just posted is… a normal photograph. The default, the base unit of photography if you will. You’re basically adding and special tag to be like, “Hey! Look at this completely normal thing I have here. Aren’t I great for not modifying it?”

Why isn’t it the people who are distorting their images who are adding special tags to identify them as such? (And I know a handful do but not nearly as many who use #nofilter.) Is this what we’ve come to as a society where we need to point out things that are normal because we’re all assuming everything is modified and distorted? How normal is someone who needs to run around screaming “Look how normal this is!”?

Because here’s where it gets really bananas. 11% of the Instagram photos marked as #nofilter actually have a filter on them. Where does this madness end? You’ve got so many people distorting their pictures that people have to started a tag to identify pictures that haven’t been modified and then people start pretending that they haven’t modified their pictures using that tag on modified pictures? This is the kind of insane stuff the ad agencies pull, you guys, not something a normal person should be doing when taking a cell phone picture of their damn food or something.

Could you imagine if this spread to other forms of art? I’d have to tag every blog post that I didn’t hire a ghostwriter for, every stage performance where none of the actors were robots, every song that wasn’t actually just a goat bleating auto-tuned to sound like a human. For heaven’s sake, we’ve already started doing this with food, health and beauty products because who the hell knows who’s been mucking with what these days and at least words like organic, free range and natural give you a fighting chance. And we paint the people who mess with food as The Bad Guys. Surely you and your photograph of a sunset don’t need to stoop to that level.

And while we’re at it, stop tagging things as #realtalk. Everything you say is real talk. There is no opposite of that, no such thing as imaginary talk unless you talk exclusively in hypotheticals and there’s already a perfectly good word for that, thank you.

Anyway, I’ve lost my train of thought so I’m going to turn this over to you. Do you assume everything is fake and need a tag to identify what’s normal for you to be able to live your life effectively?

What’s your biggest social media pet peeve?