Manal Haddad

The Impacts of Misleading Social Media Filters

Social media has created a virtual world where we meet new people, see new places, and learn more about the world. However, this virtual social realm can also become toxic when things go wrong.

Social media filters are mostly misleading and deceptive. It can severely damage a person’s body image and create unattainable beauty standards. This often leaves people depressed and gives birth to self-hate.

To learn more about how misleading social media filters impact us, let us first look at what social media filters are.

Social Media Filters

The first-ever social media filters were introduced in 2015 when Snapchat quickly took over as one of the most popular social media platforms. Recent studies show that nearly 1 in 5 Americans use a social media filter before uploading a picture.

Social media filters are digital photo editing tools that detect a person’s facial features through the use of AI technology. These filters allow you to change your skin tone, facial features, eye color, and much more. They can completely change a person’s appearance and make their pictures misleading and unrecognizable.

Research shows that these social media filters have negatively impacted its users.

Impacts of Misleading Social Media Filters

1.     Stereotypical Beauty Standards

A significantly high number of the most common social media filters promote western beauty standards. For example, they make their user look paler, gives them blue-green eyes, and contort their noses to make them appear small and pointy.

The stereotypical standard of beauty promotes the idea of other races and different global features as being less desirable. Consequently, this leads to psychological distress and people experiencing body dysmorphia.

2.     Unattainable Standards of Beauty

Every human has a unique face and distinct body type. So while working out and eating well can help them stay healthy, it is almost impossible for two people to look the same.

Some social media influencers and celebrities deceive their followers by using filters that make their skin look flawless, and their bodies look a certain way. As a result, the followers become insecure and even go for expensive body-altering surgeries. This develops insecurities and self-hate among people.

According to an American plastic surgery organization, ASPS, nearly 230,000 surgical cosmetic procedures were performed in the USA in 2020.

3.     Deceptive and Dangerous

Social media filters can make you look completely different from your actual appearance. Many people use these filters to deceive the people they meet online. This practice is called catfishing.

Catfishers use a social media filter to deceive people who have no idea that they are being deceived. This could be very dangerous.

Studies show that men more commonly do catfishing, and women are the more common victims. The victim could be deceived for sex, personal information, and financial scam.

Final Thoughts

Social media filters may seem fun, but their impact on society as a whole is very negative. They encourage self-hating disorders and can even result in self-harm (use of illegal face-lifting injections). Filters also promote a stereotypical standard of beauty and can also be extremely dangerous.

This is why it’s pertinent that you be wary of filters and practice authenticity.

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