In the last couple of days, social media and Internet space eagerly discussing:  Is That Dress White and Gold or Blue and Black? The dispute began with the photos posted on the Internet, and everyone who saw it, it seems, had an opinion, and everyone was convinced that he, or she, was right.

In an era when just about everyone seems to be doing anything they can to ignite interest online, the great dress debate went viral the old-fashioned way. It just happened. Politicians, television stars and ordinary citizens which have access to the Internet take part in the dispute.

How could different people see the same article of clothing so differently? The simplicity of the debate, the fact that it was about something as universal as the color of a dress, made it all the more irresistible. It sort of erased the line between web culture and real culture. The Internet, and social media in particular, are known for accelerating and accentuating divisions. In a sense, the dress debate was no different. It, too, hinged on a matter of perception. Only in this case, the polarization wasn’t ideological, or political, or racial. It was physical, based on how our brains were processing visual information. And it was harmless. Another theory involves color perception. When cues about the ambient light are missing, people may perceive the same color in different ways. The one thing scientists could agree on was that this is a very unusual illusion(Mahler). People who see the dress one way do not eventually begin to see it the other way, as is common with many optical illusions.

Whatever the true reasons for different perceptions and whatever the theory does not explain, we should be tolerant and respect the opinions of others, and do not inflate the excessive buzz of the blue. “Much Ado About Nothing.”