Do you use social media filters? They could be messing with your head


Social media filters: Cosmetic surgeons have always fielded seemingly odd requests to recreate body parts ...
Social media filters: Cosmetic surgeons have always fielded seemingly odd requests to recreate body parts from celebrities: Angelina Jolie's lips,David Beckham's calves, etc. Photo/COURTESY

In Summary

  • Social media filters can mess with our heads, fostering some unhealthy ideas about what we really see in the mirror -- and on our phones.
  • When you see your face dozens of times a day, there are plenty of opportunities to obsess over little imperfections that other people may not even notice.
  • This perception gap, combined with the natural tendency to intimately critique one's own oft-viewed face, can cause serious psychological problems.

Social media filters are fun! You can look like a puppy dog or a nerdy cat or a fairy princess, or just hot! Like, slightly hotter than you actually are.

Like you, but spackled and sandblasted and shaved down until you have a chin sharper than the Matterhorn and the complexion of a cotton ball.

The problem is, when you alter a photo and the result is a you-but-better-version staring back, you may start to get it in your head that that’s what you should look like.

Cosmetic doctors are noticing an uptick in people who are bringing Facetuned, filtered and otherwise altered photos into their offices, or pulling up unaltered selfies to point out what they want fixed.

They’re calling it “Snapchat dysmorphia,” and although the term has been around for a while, a recent article in the JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery brings the social media filters topic into focus.

“Overall, social media apps, such as Snapchat and Facetune, are providing a new reality of beauty for today’s society,” the article reads.

“These apps allow one to alter his or her appearance in an instant and conform to an unrealistic and often unattainable standard of beauty.”

The article claims that the phenomenon can mess with our heads, fostering some unhealthy ideas about what we really see in the mirror — and on our phones.

Dr. Patrick Byrne, director of the Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Department at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says the root of the problem is fairly simple: In the selfie age, people just see their faces (and bodies) more.

“The experience of younger humans in particular in this regard, how they relate to their own appearance, is so profoundly different than at any other point in time,” he said.

“We used to have photographs, of course, but we gazed upon them and thought about them infrequently. Now, we’re in this world where people are exposed to their own facial image thousands of times per year.”

Read the full report on CNN here

For Citizen TV updates
Join @citizentvke Telegram channel



Video Of The Day: On Viusasa, now you can download your videos and play them back later

Story By CNN
More by this author