Social media platforms like Snapchat have a growing list of problematic effects they are causing for their users. Ironically, it is the magical effects of Snapchat’s platform which draw people to it yet cause the most problems. Many social media platforms have followed Snapchat’s lead in developing filters which layer over a real time image to create an enhanced picture. Some of Snapchat’s filters include animal parts, like dog ears, nose and tongue. In most of their filters, however, it is the simple facial modifications which draw people into compulsive selfie-taking. Snapchat’s facial filters smooth the face, eliminate blemishes, and alter the eyes, lips, and eyelashes. Many of the “ideal” beauty modifications once restricted to major publications with advanced editing tools are now achievable with a quick selfie. Rather than compare themselves to models in magazines, people can compare themselves to themselves in just a few seconds. The contrast between what they see in the mirror and what they see through their Snapchat filters is causing many people psychological distress and resulting in the development of body dysmorphia.
Body dysmorphic disorder affects 1 in 50 people and causes a severe skew in one’s perception of themselves. Striving for “perfect”, someone with body dysmorphic disorder can turn to multiple surgeries and procedures to achieve the look they want. All of their worth and how they feel about themselves on the inside is defined by how they think they look on the outside. In the case of “Snapchat Dysmorphia” people want to look how their Snapchat filters make them look. They’re turning to plastic surgery to achieve those modifications. In the process, they’re developing a mental illness which could last a lifetime.
People start to believe that the way they look on Snapchat is the way they should look in real life. The hyperreal filters create a disappointment in what is truly real about how people look. People’s expectations are high not just for themselves but for others. Disappointment from such unrealistic high expectations can be deeply damaging, ruining relationships, and causing severe self-esteem issues in people with altered perceptions.
Enlightened Solutions offers a clinical, holistic and 12-step approach to the road to recovery. If you’re struggling with addiction and/or mental illness, our program is specialized in dual-diagnosis treatments. Don’t hesitate and call today: 844-234-LIVE.
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