If you’ve been tooling around on Instagram lately, you’ve probably encountered this new crop of filters.
You know the ones I mean. You point your phone at your face to record an IG story and a little shape materializes above your head and starts flickering like something from an ’80s game show. Eventually it tells you what kind of imported cheese you are, or which Hemsworth brother, or what episode of Dallas. Sure the resulting stories kinda look like TikToks for the aged, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fun (for the aged).
Well, now First Avenue has its own IG filter, and it classifies you as one of the famed stars painted on the building’s exterior. (You can grab the filter from the effects tab on First Ave's Instagram profile.) Who will your phone say you are? Prince? The Replacements? The Black Eyed Peas?
To gauge the filter’s accuracy, multiple City Pages staffers tested it out this week. Results varied. Because I am a very cool person, I got Public Enemy. Despite being a relatively cool person, CP editor in chief Emily “Em” Cassel got Weezer. Other staffers scored Eurythmics (congrats Hannah Jones) and Sheryl Crow (lol Sarah Brumble). I have a strong suspicion that at least one staff member cheated, using the filter repeatedly until he/she/they got the artist he/she/they wanted, but libel concerns prevent me from revealing that staffer’s identity.
So does the filter "get it right"? Unclear! Is it fun? Yes! Are social media apps harvesting images of our faces for insidious marketing and policing purposes? Almost certainly! (I am positive that my Instagram soulmate Chuck D would never use this filter. After all, he once rhymed about throwing his child’s Super Nintendo out the window.) If we were really worried about our data privacy wouldn’t we all have hopped off the social media train about 12 stations ago? Stop asking me so many questions, I’m looking at my phone!