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Do people see you inverted? A TikTok mystery

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  • 5 min read
What is TikTok app and why was it banned in India?

If you have been a victim of the inverted filter on TikTok, then you might be wondering if that is how people see you. Do you appear inverted to everyone around you or do you look the way you see yourself in the mirror? Let us take a stroll down the memory lane with high school science and delve into the topic of reflection. Is everything in this world black and white, right or wrong, inverted or non-inverted?

Well, let us bail you out of confusion with this article in which we will discuss what TikTok’s inverted filter indicates and how people really view you. As beautiful, nonetheless.

Also read: Does TikTok notify screenshots?

Is TikTok inverted real?

You may have come across TikTok videos of people switching continuously between their selfies and flipped images. These videos play with Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Deja Vu’ or Bruno Mars’ ‘Talking to the Moon’ music in the background. This inverted filter seems to have had an inverse effect as well among TikTokers. Instead of making your day, this filter has apparently been ruining days, nights, and self-esteem. Not everyone in this world has a symmetrical face or exactly symmetrical features. This realisation has been dawning on anyone who uses this filter.

This is not something that you should be worrying you a lot. Growing up, we all feel that having the perfect features, a flawless skin, or good clothes can make us feel good. As a brand says, look gook, feel good. But can you really let an app or a filter at that define your beauty? Don’t think that I am not taking your side here, but it is not entirely the filter’s fault. All that an inverted filter does is flip your image. Yes, TikTok’s inverted filter is genuine and shows you exactly as how people view you and not as you view yourself in a mirror.

Breaking down the filter

Take a selfie with a victory sign made with your left hand. View this image on your gallery and you might notice that the victory sign appears to be made with your right hand. If you face a mirror with this image on your phone facing the mirror as well, you will notice that the victory sign is on your left hand again. Is this magic? (Hocus pocus, you have lost your focus) Your front camera emulates a mirror as our mind recognises reflections as real. Moreover, we are in a habit of constantly looking at our reflection in the mirror.

The front camera flips a selfie to resemble real image

A mirror flips everything that comes within it’s view. If you reflect some a word in front of a mirror, it will appear backwards. When it comes to previewing your image in your camera, your selfie also gets flipped. Instead of looking as you do in a mirror, you will appear as you would to other people or a photographer. You look at yourself in a mirror more than you look at your photographs. Hence, you are extra comfortable looking at your mirror reflection or a virtual image rather than a real image which a camera captures. Each human is unique and different, we will all appear different if we use the inverted filter on TikTok as we are more familiar with our mirror images rather than our photos.

Also read: How to fix ‘This sound isn’t available on Tiktok’ error?

What do virtual people see?

If you are still confused about how the world views you: the mirror image is virtual or not real in any way. A real image is formed when the light rays coming from any object intersect to form an inverted image on the retina inside our eye. So the way other people look at you is how you actually look, which is very beautiful, regardless of your gender. By virtual people, we mean the people who see you on platforms like Zoom, on a videocall, or in a Google meeting. What do they see? Your mirror image or your real/inverted image?

Be it a Zoom call, a Google Meet, WhatsApp video call or FaceTime, whenever any app shows you a small preview window of yourself at the bottom or top corner of your screen, that image is a mirror image. If you were to move your left arm, it would appear as if you were moving your right arm when you see yourself in the tiny preview. However, this preview or your mirror image is not what the person or people on the other side views. They view you in the same way as they would if you were sitting right in front of them, which is your real/inverted version.

Also read: What does ASL mean on TikTok?

Sania Usmani

Sania Usmani

Always curious, calm, and a little crazy, you can find me daydreaming or studying. An avid reader, traveler, and graduate of Aviation Science, I love gaining new experiences in life and star gazing. You can contact her here: