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Are social media filters damaging mental health?

ANI | Updated: Aug 11, 2018 18:18 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 11 (ANI): Turns out, people might be suffering from a social media disorder called "Snapchat dysmorphia," according to a recent article in the JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.
Social media filters can be a great way to juice up one's Snapchat or Instagram post. However, the problem arises when people start thinking that they should look like a better version of themselves, and go under the knife for the same.
According to CNN, cosmetic doctors are noticing an increase in the number of people who are bringing their filtered and altered photos to their offices with the hope of looking like that.
The article claims that this phenomenon can mess up with our heads, showing us unhealthy ideas about how we look like in the mirror and on our phones.
Dr. Patrick Byrne, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said that the root problem is very simple, in the selfie age; people just see their faces and bodies more.
In a recent set of statistics from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 55 per cent of facial plastic surgeons reported seeing patients who wanted to improve how they appeared in selfies in 2017.
Academy President, Dr. William H. Truswell says, "Consumers are only a swipe away from finding love and a new look, and this movement is only going to get stronger."
When a person sees their face dozens of times a day, there are a lot of opportunities to obsess over little imperfections that are unnoticeable to other people that can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction and even dysmorphia.
Another sign that selfies are affecting how people see their face is the type of procedures people request.
The JAMA article says, "Prior to the popularity of selfies, the most common complaint from those seeking rhinoplasty was the hump of the dorsum on the nose. Today, nasal and facial asymmetry is the more common presenting concern."
"The disorder is more than an insecurity or a lack of confidence. Those with BDD often go to great lengths to hide their imperfections and may visit dermatologists or plastic surgeons frequently, in hope to change their appearance," it noted.
Byrne feels that these patients don't need a new nose or some injectables, they need psychological help.
A study from the International Journal of Eating Disorders investigated the link between social media and body-related behavior among girls and found out that girls who shared photos of themselves online had higher levels of body dissatisfaction.
It's not just the sharing of such photos that contributed to unhealthy patterns, but also how much the girls edited their photos mattered too.
Dr. Bryne says, "The only face in the world that you can never see is your own."
It is clear that "selfie dysmorphia," as described by doctors is more than just wanting to look like a better version of yourself. It's more about correcting a person's imperfections. (ANI)

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