The Dangers of social media filters - Social Media Explorer
The Dangers of social media filters
The Dangers of social media filters

Filters, Photoshop, Facetune, and numerous other apps make it easier than ever to improve the way we look to our “friends” online.  But how does that affect us throughout the rest of the day?

There are so many things that have changed in the last 20 years.  Playing outside all day with the neighbors kids seems like a thing of the past.  I regularly have teens over to hang out with my kids, and almost all of them are constantly checking their phones.  It’s actually pretty sad.

Another thing that is interesting is when I meet social media “influencers” they almost never look like the pictures they post online.

Many of the women use so many filters on their images that it almost looks like a cartoon.

Everything is so smooth, eyes and teeth are so bright and white, I can’t tell if I’m looking at a picture of my neighbor, or if it’s some new Disney Princess.

Comcast reported a 60% increase in internet usage in the first month of COVID restrictions.  Almost all of us are on some type of social media and with more time than ever at home, we are seeing more faces than ever.   All this time looking at faces can really have an effect on our minds.   Psychologist, Dr. Amadi, says, “Instagram has been tied to anxiety and depressive symptoms, but also to concerns such as anxiety related to physical appearance, increased body dissatisfaction, and lower self-esteem.” 

I know numerous women, men and friends of my teenage daughter that almost alway use filters on everything they post and even use filters while talking on a facetime call.  Some even use an app called Facetune, which can actually alter the shape of your face.  It can make your eyes bigger, nose smaller, narrow your cheeks, plump your lips and even change the shape of your body.

Facetune has reported a 25% increase in usage of their app in the last 6 months.  There are over 100 million users that have some version of Facetune on their phones!

I’m sure all of you have tried some of the built in filters on every app from Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Tik Tok.  I’m glad the dog ears and tongue lick seems to have gone away.

Dr. Amadi also says, “It seems harmless at first, but a slight edit here and a slight edit there can spiral into obsessive-compulsive tendencies around body image.”

Dr. Bacow, from New York says, “Some of these behaviors inadvertently worsen body image. Editing your image reinforces a negative belief and confirms the thought that your natural body is not acceptable.” 

Doctors are reporting a dramatic increase in plastic surgeries and fillers and botox, even among young girls in their teens. This is natural when you consider they are looking at unrealistic images of people all day long on their phone.

Some of the suggestions I read were:

-Unfollow people that trigger unhealthy thoughts.

-Follow people that make you feel better about yourself.

-Limit the time you spend on social media.

-Try to recognize when you are comparing yourself to others and eliminate these thoughts.

-Remind yourself about things you like about yourself.

-Focus on goals that help you feel healthy and happy.

This reminds me of an old joke that one of my buddies told me.  It was something like, “Whenever you see some beautiful girl, just remember that there is a guy somewhere that is sick of her sh**.”

My point in telling you this is that no matter how beautiful someone is, the most important thing is how they treat other people.  Obviously I care a lot about fitness, but no matter how obsessed we are with our physical appearance, there are always going to be pictures of people that make us feel like we need to be leaner, or look more beautiful. 

The most important thing we can do is find things that bring us true happiness.  Being healthy can help, but in my life, what makes me happy, is my close relationships with family and friends.  So whiter teeth and a smaller waist might get you more likes on Instagram, but they for sure will not make anyone like you more in real life.  To be clear, post whatever pictures make you comfortable and follow whoever you want to follow, just be careful to pay attention to whether or not the things you post or look at online are actually making your life better.

As always, work hard, have fun and don’t forget to drink your Nanohydr8!  :)

Adam Legas

Founder/ CEO Nanohydr8

Discount Code “adam”

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About the Author

Adam is an owner at Nanohydr8. He really loves comedy and satire, and the written word in general.

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