Almost every social media platform these days boasts a large variety of filters that can change anything from your facial features to the color of your hair. These are so popular that even plastic surgeons have seen a rise of patients showing images of filtered selfies when requesting cosmetic procedures. We can all agree that these can be fun to use from time to time, but the constant altering of ourselves makes us wonder; when is ok to use a filter and when is it not?
There are definitely a lot of positives that come with using fun filters on various platforms. Filters are often fun to use and bring out a goofy side for anyone. Take for example Instagram’s interactive filters that can include anything from moving hearts to added eye makeup. These fun features can make an otherwise lifeless photo really come to life. Filters give people the creative tools to craft authentic and unique posts that can ultimately increase ones following. Additionally, using fun filters can make you feel more confident and allow you to share things that you otherwise may not have. Using popular apps like snapchat and instagram allow users to experiment with fun things like hair and other features.
While there are many positive aspects that come with using filters, there is a negative side that comes with it as well. Most filters are used through social media platforms and social media usage has been linked to depression, anxiety and body-image issues. Filters often portray an altered version of someone and it can be hard not to compare ourselves to the filtered versions of our peers. Filters allow you to snap a picture anywhere in the world at any time and appear as if you have a perfect tan, amazing skin and much more. Manipulating our images has become such a normal part of society that it can be hard to imagine a life without doggy ears, crowns and heart-eyes. The availability and ease of filters can create an obsession with your own image as well as others.
As long as everyone knows that the version they are seeing of themselves is digitally altered, then they should be able to keep enjoying fun filters. There is potential for any aspect of social media to affect body image and self-perception, so filters should not be any different. It’s hard to imagine a world without filters and we shouldn’t have to. Apps like instagram and snapchat have made taking pictures fun and allow us to experiment with things like hair color and makeup at the click of a button. The next time you go to snap a great selfie, add a fun filter and just keep in mind that what you’re seeing isn’t the real version but is still ok to use!