Today I want to share a very entertaining video with you! The name of the creator’s YouTube channel is “Editing is Everything” and I agree with that statement! She uses her editing skills to showcase how the same story can be retold in ways that give a completely different impression of its style or even overall purpose. The concept is more than entertaining; it illustrates a new angle to take when interpreting things that happen in life!
Editing is not just for movie trailers, of course. It’s for political campaign ads and what we think of our neighbors; it’s news and statistics brought to you through someone else’s lens; it’s why two people sitting at the same table might leave a restaurant with opposite reviews of how the evening went. It’s all in how we (often unconsciously) edit the information we’re presented with.
We all have a part of our brain that does the service of filtering information that comes in, since there is always too much sensory input to consciously process at once. The reticular activating system helps us “skim” email topics, filter out ambient sounds or what people are wearing, and pay attention only when it matches sought-after information. This level of pattern recognition helps us function brilliantly, but it also means we miss things we weren’t looking for. It can also make us unconsciously rely on filters that force others to fit within the patterns we know. We don’t need to accept every bias our minds present us with; it’s our duty to regularly challenge our assumptions!
How can we do that? Next time you’re on social media, think to yourself; do I really have a whole view of this person, now that I’ve read this single online comment they made (often seen out of context)? What if I know some details about them, like how much money they make, and which country their family is from? Then is that enough? Of course not. What about the human tendency to focus on the negative? Should we judge every individual and organization by the worst things they’ve ever done? The bugs in an app, the worst service ever provided, or the worst score you’ve had on a test? Go easy on yourself, and please go easy on each other! Whether strangers in the news or long time friends, I would ask that you try to give others the benefit of the doubt. Remember people are reacting to current circumstances through the lens of their past experiences. We almost never have their full story.
How do you view the people in your life? Do you really have the full story, or just an edited version?
So, how was your day, really? YOU choose which footage to keep and what to leave on the cutting room floor. I’ve decided I’m embracing the parts I want to embrace, and letting the rest go whenever I can. Especially when it comes to how I think of myself. I can write about favorite memories of each day when I write in my journal, rather than only reiterate the negative. Recording the best bits influences my recollection, increases my satisfaction, AND it changes what I skim for the next day… win-win!
I’m loving this realization, how about you? Have you ever wished that someone else would “edit” their recollection of the past, so they would perceive you differently? Is there anything in your life that you might find to be less upsetting you if you could just looked at it differently? You’re the editor, right?