We know that plenty of Facebook users have a tendency to Photoshop their profile pics and such, but even in the real world, a disturbing trend has also taken hold. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery says that, during the last decade and a half, there has been an epic upswing in cosmetic procedures.
This has some doctors convinced that there’s a connection between the increase in these elective procedures and the rise of social networking, which coincidentally rose to prominence over the past decade.
It might seem like a stretch to make a correlation between the two, but there’s also no denying the fact that the tools we use in modern society are very visually oriented. And it’s not just Facebook photos — we use Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangout and myriad other video chat/conferencing programs. We also take way more static images in general, including of ourselves, thanks to smartphones and digital cameras. All that can come together to amp up some people’s insecurities about the way they look.
No wonder so many people Photoshop their pics. Thing is, this only makes it worse. Everyone looks so airbrushed and perfect online (and indeed you do too when you edit your images). But the self-image problems occur when people look in the mirror and see someone less attractive staring back.
“When you look in the mirror you’re seeing the mirror image of yourself,” says New York plastic surgeon Dr. Adam Schaffner. “But when you see yourself on social media, you’re seeing yourself the way the world sees you.” End result: The shock and disappointment winds up sending some people straight to their doctors — more of whom have begun to catch on to this. Schaffner offers a small, face-tightening procedure called a “Lifestyle Lift.” Another Virginia surgeon performs an operation dubbed “FaceTime Facelift.” The selling point of the procedure is that it’s geared entirely toward making patients look more attractive in their video chats.