What you see may not be what you get

Whenever we go to New York City, we typically splurge on one dinner at a nice restaurant, usually the night we’re going to see a show.

So it was during one of these dinners that we encountered a man at a nearby table holding court with people sitting near him.

It didn’t even require strategic overhearing to hear this guy’s thoughts — and oh … he had thoughts — because I’m pretty sure people in Central Park could hear him pontificating.

First of all, and this is very important, given the number of times he repeated it, both he and his wife were in their mid-40s, they had been married for a couple years and they were very happy.

Very happy … in case you weren’t sure … very … happy. To be honest, he was giving off a “doth protest too much” vibe.

But he also felt compelled to share his thoughts on selfies, based on his experience working in a photo shop (if I remember correctly) and on dating apps.

Before, of course, he met his wife, to whom he was very happily married.

The proper way to take a selfie, he explained, is to hold your phone high and to one side, turning your head to look up at the camera. Something about smoothing out your neck and making yourself look younger.

I have no idea, since I don’t take selfies because I don’t like what I see when I turn the camera on myself. Does what he said work?

However, he also complained that when he met women in real life after seeing them on dating apps (before he met his … you know the drill), they didn’t look like their profile photos.

“False advertising,” he called it.

If he only knew what the future held.

“There are now businesses that sell fake people.”

Scared yet? What is this about “fake people”?

That’s the opening sentence of a New York Times story about advances in artificial intelligence technology that can make faces look older or younger, change a poker face into a smile, turn men into women or change a face’s ethnicity.

Meanwhile, I still don’t understand the Instagram filters I never use.

“These simulated people are starting to show up around the internet, used as masks by real people with nefarious intent: spies who don an attractive face in an effort to infiltrate the intelligence community; right-wing propagandists who hide behind fake profiles, photo and all; online harassers who troll their targets with a friendly visage.”

If this were some sort of scary movie the types of which I couldn’t write and won’t watch, I would imagine the next step being the ability to change living, breathing people’s faces just by sliding a dial. Just ramp up the DNA replacement therapy from “Die Another Day,” right?

Although a slight (OK, big) adjustment on the “make me look more like George Clooney” scale is a welcome thought, I’d much prefer something that  makes me a little more comfortable socially, a touch more creative, a dash more daring, a lot less likely to stick my foot in my mouth.

All of these would make me far more likable to the people I meet, even if none of them will be women from dating apps …

… since I’ve been very happily married for 18 years.

Yes, that photo is me. Suzi took it last year in Oregon. It’s awful, but it’s all me.

One thought on “What you see may not be what you get

  1. Pingback: The week gone by — Nov. 29 – A Silly Place

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