On the Boundary Between Reality and Filters / Psychologist: Things can be improved through education, development of critical thinking, use of scientific sources, verification of information, and most importantly, through real relationships

Several studies of teens and pre-teens have shown that they have low self-esteem because they compare their bodies to those of celebrities or friends who use filters, and girls tend to be affected more than boys.

Although, in theory, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat and other social networks only allow children over the age of 13 to register, many users of these platforms are between the ages of 8 and 12, and the effects in their case are even stronger . Many girls use it [filtre] To look better”, “Snapchat can make you look flawless, you don’t have pimples, you don’t have pores, you don’t have anything, you don’t have scars”, “Sometimes if someone doesn’t think you look so good, you might change your face to look a little better” These are some statements from children under the age of 12 by researcher Claire Catherine Biscott from the University of South Wales, Newport, UK.

Another child said, “You are not sure [cum arată cineva] Because there is a filter on their face. So until you meet this person, you don’t know what it looks like.”

For children, using filters is a way to improve interaction on social networks. Photos with filters are viewed 21% more than those without filters, and 45% more likely to receive comments, according to a 2015 study by Saida Bakhshi.

Behavior associated with risks that parents and children do not often understand. “If we give more importance to the virtual environment, especially if we are not emotionally mature and stable, then it is very likely that these images will affect us,” says psychologist Claudia Mihai.

Filters are everywhere

The first filters appeared in 2010, when Instagram wanted to allow users to improve their photos for free. The initial idea was that filters shouldn’t be subtle, but to help photos have a retro scent, similar to Polaroid photos, which also have a square format. Applying a filter like “Apollo”, “Nashville” or “1977” turns an ordinary photo into an Instagram photo.

Photo: © Presorio | Dreamstime.com

Four years later, when smartphone cameras had improved dramatically, Instagram launched a series of cutting-edge editing tools that allowed editing as in-depth as microscopic clarity. Nowadays, this is a common occurrence influencers They have their own filters, which they create in Adobe Lightroom and for which users pay.

Snapchat took the candidate idea and took it to the next level. Snapchat lenses enhance reality. This platform allows you to add two candidates simultaneously. By the end of 2020, users between the ages of 13 and 24 had created over 900,000 Snapchat filters in Lens Studio.

Photo: © Peter Kováč | Dreamstime.com

If boys often prefer filters with animals, moving ears or that exaggerate features for fun, girls are more concerned with their body image, which they do their best to improve, according to Pescott.

A recent study in Canada showed that 85% of girls had downloaded a photo editing app before the age of 13. 67% of them wanted to change or hide at least part of their body, and 37% said they didn’t look good enough without a filter or without editing their photos before publishing.

Filters are so ubiquitous that when we look at selfies, for example, we automatically assume that the photos have been altered, even when we don’t have clear evidence of this effect. Almost instant recognition of the filters sums up the scale of the phenomenon, Pescott says.

Apparently, filters help us look better and improve our image. However, in reality, psychologists say that we may lose more than we gain.

What do we lose because of filters?

The Internet, full of filters and enhanced images, is increasingly eliminating the human side and turning things into a false reality: in the stellar television system, which infects the beings of politics and the sacred, with its bodily penetration, teaches appearance. Of Success, Spit and Magic”, catalogued by Bolla Cardini, in 1999.

Those who use filters say it helps them get verified online. Some young women, especially in Asia, have had plastic surgery and adjusted their nose, chin or cheeks to look like their chosen photo using filters, a phenomenon called Snapchat Dysmorphism.

“People who want to be someone else, or like everyone else, have major problems with forming self-identity and forming self-esteem,” says psychologist Claudia Mihai. “Resorting to plastic surgery to alter your appearance/body is indicative of a huge lack of acceptance of yourself. I would say that in these cases, psychological and even psychological help is urgently needed,” added Mihai.

Clinical psychologist Claudia Mihai says that overexposure is not indicated in adolescence: “It’s important to discern the reality of fantasy, to have well-developed critical thinking, and to be informed — and from sources other than social media.”

The psychologist said, “Things can be improved through education, through the development of critical thinking, the use of scientific sources, information goals, verification of information, and most importantly, through real face-to-face relationships.” She describes this type of education as “essential,” emphasizing the distinction that teens should have between fantasy and reality.

Another way to reduce this trend is to promote beauty without filters. Each of us can promote beauty without filters. The Doctor of Psychology says that it is necessary to work with oneself, to learn to accept ourselves, but this does not mean giving up on improving our image or performance. She says it’s normal to want to become more, but we can’t change until we accept ourselves and be honest with ourselves.

Romania is promoting the development of self-confidence in the age of social media

Dove “Believe in Yourself .” ProgramIt started from the idea that beauty should breed confidence, not anxiety. The mission of this program is to help young people increase their self-esteem and achieve their full potential.

The statistics accessed and collected by the program indicate a number of facts. Thus, we found that 76% of young women actually prefer to see images in natural or only with simple retouching, at the expense of those who are highly retouched and modified. Nationwide, the study found that 7 out of 10 girls use photo-editing apps when using social media, and one in three girls posts daily on one of the social networks.

Since 2004, Dove has helped more than 20 million young people and aims to help millions more. Thus, the program provides the audience with tools for parents and mentors, three mini-lessons, but also a short guide.

One of the program’s brochures, “We Are Unique,” ​​helps parents and mentors with a list of actions and ideas for building confidence among teens and teens: “If you want your daughter to grow up with confidence in her body and a strong sense of self-esteem, you can do something very simple: self-esteem.”

Sentence: “You look different in reality“It has become a matter of days to live, courtesy or not. Both adults and children are exposed to this phenomenon, which is perhaps too fragile for seemingly innocuous filters.



About the author:

raluca Crystal Student at the Faculty of Journalism at the University of Bucharest.

Photo: © Alexey Popov | Dreamstime.com/ Dreamstime.com supports education in Romania and, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, offers free stock photos with which Edupedu.ro can illustrate as relevant its articles as possible.

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