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Social media has revolutionized how we connect, communicate, and share information online. The idea of social media-originated in the late 1990s, and by the early 2000s, the first social networking site,, was launched. Since then, social media has grown into a global phenomenon, with billions of people using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to stay connected and engaged with each other.

While social media has many benefits, it has also brought about some unintended consequences, particularly in the form of filters that can distort reality. What started as a fun and gimmicky feature on Instagram and TikTok has become a potential danger, particularly for young people. These filters can make us look better, thinner, and more attractive than we are, leading to unrealistic beauty standards and negative body image. In this article, we will explore the impact of these popular filters and discuss how they distort reality in a way that could harm our mental health.

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Social Media is the current technology revolution that shaped the world.

Over the past two decades, social media has evolved from a niche hobby for tech enthusiasts to a global phenomenon transforming how we interact, connect, and consume information online. Today, social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, with billions of people worldwide using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to stay connected with friends and family, share content, and engage with their favourite brands and celebrities.

According to recent statistics, over 4.2 billion people use social media regularly, representing more than half of the world’s population. This number is expected to grow in the coming years as more people gain access to the internet, and social media becomes an even more integral part of our daily lives.

The most prominent social media platforms worldwide are Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, and TikTok. Facebook is the most widely used platform, with over 2.8 billion monthly active users, while YouTube is the most popular video-sharing site, with over 2 billion monthly active users. WhatsApp, the popular messaging app, has over 2 billion users, while Instagram and TikTok have over 1 billion users each.

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In addition to the sheer number of users, social media has become a massive time sink, with the average user spending several hours daily on social media platforms. According to recent surveys, people spend an average of 2-3 hours per day on social media, with younger users typically spending even more time. This level of engagement has made social media one of the world’s most potent marketing and advertising channels as businesses seek to reach customers where they spend the most time online.

Social media has come a long way since its early days and has become an essential part of our daily lives. As more people adopt social media platforms, it will be interesting to see how they evolve to meet their users’ changing needs and preferences.

Social media filters: Why do people like them?

Social media filters have become ubiquitous on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, and it’s not hard to see why. Filters allow users to enhance their images and videos with special effects and adjustments, making their content more visually appealing and engaging. But why do people love social media filters, and which ones are the most popular?

One of the biggest draws of social media filters is that they can help people look better and more attractive in their photos and videos. Filters can smooth out imperfections, brighten skin tones, and add flattering lighting effects, making people look like they just stepped out of a magazine photoshoot. This can particularly appeal to people who are self-conscious about their appearance or to make a good impression on social media.

Another reason people love social media filters is because they can be a lot of fun. Many filters are designed to be quirky, funny, or whimsical, and users can experiment with different filters to see how they look and feel. Some of the most popular filters on Instagram and TikTok include the “Dog” filter, which adds dog ears and a nose to a user’s face, and the “Rainbow” filter, which overlays rainbow colours on the user’s surroundings.


Some filters also allow users to add special effects or animations to their content, making their posts more dynamic and eye-catching. For example, Instagram’s “Glitter” filter adds sparkles and glitter to the user’s face. In contrast, the “Green Screen” filter on TikTok allows users to superimpose themselves onto different backgrounds and settings.

Social media filters have become a unique feature of platforms like Instagram and TikTok, allowing users to enhance their content and express themselves creatively. Whether using filters to boost their self-confidence or have fun, social media users worldwide will continue embracing this popular feature for years.

Social media filters: the danger zone!

Psychiatrists are increasingly concerned about the impact that social media filters may be having on our mental health and well-being, especially among young people. While filters can be entertaining, they also have the potential to distort our sense of reality and lead to negative psychological consequences.

One of the main dangers of social media filters is that they can distort our perception of ourselves and others. By constantly seeing ourselves and others through filters, we may lose sight of what we look like and what is truly beautiful or desirable. This can create unrealistic expectations and standards for our appearance, leading to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and depression.

In addition, social media filters can contribute to the already prevalent problem of body dysmorphia, a mental health disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts and preoccupation with perceived flaws or defects in one’s appearance. When people use filters to modify their appearance, they may begin to fixate on these altered images and feel dissatisfied or unhappy with their natural appearance.

Moreover, filters can contribute to a social media culture of comparison and competition. When people see others using filters to enhance their appearance, they may feel pressure to do the same to keep up or be seen as attractive or desirable. This can create a toxic environment detrimental to mental health and self-esteem.

For young people, in particular, the psychological impact of social media filters can be especially harmful. As they develop their sense of self and identity, they may be more vulnerable to the pressures and influences of social media, which can shape their beliefs and attitudes about themselves and others.

Social Media Filters and the Increase in Plastic Surgery Among Young People

Social media filters have become a ubiquitous part of our digital lives. These filters allow users to alter their appearance, adding features such as flawless skin, augmented lips, and perfect noses. However, there is growing concern that the widespread use of social media filters is contributing to an increase in plastic surgery among young people.

The pressure to conform to unrealistic beauty standards is not a new phenomenon, but social media has exacerbated this issue. Filters have created an unattainable beauty standard that young people feel compelled to meet. The filtered images on social media have become the norm, leading many to believe that they need to alter their appearance to fit in.

This phenomenon is particularly prevalent among young people. According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 72% of facial plastic surgeons reported an increase in requests for cosmetic procedures due to patients being more self-aware of their appearance on social media.

The use of social media filters can distort a person’s perception of their appearance, leading to body dysmorphia and a desire to undergo cosmetic procedures to achieve the filtered look. This can be dangerous, as young people may not fully understand the risks associated with these procedures.

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Social media filters and body dysmorphia

I am deeply concerned about the potential long-term effects of young people using filters to enhance their appearance on social media. While filters can temporarily boost self-esteem, they may contribute to severe psychological issues if overused or relied upon too heavily.

Firstly, excessive use of filters can lead to body dysmorphia, a mental health disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts and preoccupation with perceived flaws or defects in one’s appearance. When young people use filters to modify their appearance, they may lose touch with their accurate self-image and develop unrealistic expectations for how they should look. This can lead to dissatisfaction and low self-esteem, and in some cases, may even lead to eating disorders or other self-harming behaviours.

Additionally, relying on filters to enhance one’s appearance can create a distorted sense of reality, leading young people to believe that their filtered images accurately represent themselves and others. This can create a social media culture of comparison and competition, where young people feel pressured to maintain a specific appearance to fit in or be accepted.

Finally, overuse of filters may contribute to a lack of self-acceptance and self-love, as young people may become overly fixated on their appearance and lose sight of their inner qualities and values. This can have serious consequences for mental health, leading to depression, anxiety, and other emotional issues.ody

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In conclusion, young people must be educated about the risks and negative effects of overusing filters on social media. By promoting self-acceptance and self-love and encouraging young people to appreciate their natural beauty and unique qualities, we can help them develop a healthy and positive relationship with their appearance and social media. While social media filters can be entertaining, we must be aware of their potential negative impact on our mental health and well-being. By promoting unrealistic expectations and contributing to negative attitudes about our appearance, filters can severely affect our self-esteem and overall mental health. We must use filters in moderation and remain mindful of their potential risks, especially for young people.

José Amorim
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