"Post" has been with us in photography from the beginning, since day 1, or possibly as late as day 2. Daguerreotypes were being hand-tinted almost immediately. Artists were slashing away at glass plates to create painterly effects almost immediately. Each task performed in post moves the image incrementally away from that "Now" that I go on about now and then. Sometimes post is treating that original Now as mere source material, and seeks to create something new from it. Sometimes post merely seeks to enhance the original moment, to distill it to its essence.
Regardless of the aim, post nonetheless moves the image away from that Now to someplace else. Whether that distance is visual and artistic, or only psychological, the distance is created, and it exists.
This creates, interestingly, an opportunity to diverge from the River of Images. The billions of images shared with the world now, the millions shared tomorrow, are all lightly handled. There may be wild and aggressive effects and filters applied, but the mental distance from the original Now is slight. The point, really, of the shared image is generally to share a Now, in any case. Applying a sepia tone and a vignette does not change that.
Thoughtfully applied post, to create a new image divergent from a Now, or thoroughly distilled from a Now into the abstract idea of an infinitude of similar Nows, or whatever you choose to do, cannot but push an image outwards from the center of the river. Whether it makes it good, or whether it makes it art, well, those are other questions. Divergence from the mass, however, is a worthy step in its own right.