The Internet broke again last week, and this time, Kim Kardashian had nothing to do with it. The commotion was over a dress. That’s right, a dress. The photo of what some say to be white and gold and others view as blue and black was first uploaded to Tumblr and immediately began confusing the hell out of everybody.
James Pomerantz, professor of psychology at Rice University, said the reason people are seeing two different colors is because of white balance. An article on sciencedaily.com, a science publication, used a white room illuminated with red lights as an example. A photograph of this room would appear the same as a photograph as a red room illuminated by white lights.
Now that this phenomenon is explained, who cares what color the dress is?
There are much more important things going on in the world that should be shared on Facebook rather than this cocktail dress. News conglomerates such as CNN even covered the story. It’s as if this dress was created by the government to take our minds off the continuous growth of ISIS.
It’s a shame this society is sucked into these silly little viral photos and videos. And I’m no exception.
I came across a video on Facebook advising me to stare at a dot on the center of an image of the dress for 15 seconds with the promise that I’d finally be able to see the difference in color. As I stared intently at my tiny, glowing cell phone screen, Linda Blair in “The Exorcist” flashed onto the scream accompanied by a horrible, piercing screech. I deserved my loss of 15 seconds and heart palpitations.
The lesson is, we shouldn’t be obsessing over what color a stupid dress is. For Christ’s sake, some guy got a tattoo of the dress on his leg. If that isn’t the dumbest tattoo I’ve ever seen, I don’t what is.
This uproar has become a conversation starter in our communities. I’ve had a number of people ask me, “So, what color is the dress?” In case you’re wondering, my answer is black and blue. The argument has even been brought into some classrooms here at Plattsburgh State.
It’s a shame that people would be more wrapped up by a dress than more concerned about what’s going on in the world around them. Instead, things such as optical illusions fascinate us and make us share them with all of our Facebook friends, so they can see how “cool” it is too.
When I saw people on Facebook sharing this photo, I couldn’t get over how silly they seemed for helping make this photo go viral. I mean, c’mon, it’s just a dress. But I suppose the need to know what color the dress is similar to a child’s constant questioning of why the sky is blue. “I don’t know, kid, it just is.”
Email Chris Burek at firstname.lastname@example.org