There are those who say that photography steals the soul.
This sort of belief falls in the general taxonomy of 'Sympathetic Magic', a school of thought that holds that representation can deeply affect reality. While I am not sure that I believe in, say, voodoo dolls, it is patently obvious that representation can affect reality. Representation is, in fact, the only form of reality accessible to us.
My images here will be the only thing many of you ever see of me. This is not necessarily any more or less real than the image put on the retinas of the people with whom I regularly interact.
This is an image of me, taken with a digital camera.
Manipulating the images we construct of ourselves, whether in "virtual" or "real" (I put these in quotes because they are increasingly arbitrary divisions) is a significant part of who we are, perhaps the entirety and totality of it. As a graphic demonstration of this fact, I have run this representation of myself alphabetically through every filter in Adobe Photoshop's Filter Gallery, to construct another equally valid representation of myself. I skipped a few that were completely picture destructive (identity related rhetoric or not, nobody likes the stupid Chrome filter), but nevertheless, the cumulative results are quite different than the original.
This is the same image, about 40 photoshop filters later.
Signal, tranformed sufficiently digitally, is inevitably indistinguishable from noise. Conversely, one should pay attention to noise, because one never knows when it is secretly signal.