Did That Snapchat Filter Just Alter Your Reality?

Science / Technology

The term “Augmented Reality’ is pretty commonplace amongst techie enmeshed groups yet for the masses it still sounds a little sci-fi-out there. Yet the wide majority of Americans are augmenting their reality on a daily basis. To a degree that their augmented reality my be making more lasting impressions than their actual one.

We are literally looking at life through a lense with an application casting an alteration on the actual image we are looking at. So what are we actually seeing, experienceing and remembering? The real deal or the image on the screen? Our augmented version of reality becomes the memory of a photo/event/experience thus created an altered memory in the brain. It is rather wild to think that what we remember may not actually be the reality of the experience at all, but an altered one.

In basic terms, Augmented reality (AR) is using technology to superimpose information on our current environment thus altering the reality of our current state.

AR differs from virtual reality (VR) as it is not a simulated environment and in real time- essentially enhancing our current perception of the world around us.

A recent report by eMarketer estimates that 40 million Americans will engage with augmented reality monthly in 2017. This number has increased 30 percent over last year. AR is growing at a far more rapid pace than VR and much of this is due to social media. Instagram and Facebook stories and especially snapchat lenses are greatly contributing to our heightened usage of AR.

We are opting to ‘augment’ our reality on the daily. Filters simply make our photos and our then perhaps our perceived experiences better. The memory of an actual event then can be manipulated after we filter a photo or video thus ‘enhancing’ the actual reality of the experience.

When was the last time you did not add a filter to an instagram photo? Or left all of your vacation photos unedited for color, contrast and exposure? That photo is what leaves a lasting impression in our minds, thus leaving us with an altered memory of an event.

It can make you wonder as what is truly ‘reality’ at all. The unedited photo the actual memory? The lasting impression and memory jarred when you revisit a photo?

So know that as sci-fi as it may sound your reality and even your memories are being ‘augmented’ every day and creating an enhanced version of what actually was. Good or bad, it is important to take notice of and vital to truly soak in the unfiltered experience.