Facebook presents an opportunity for people to show their lives to the world and each other where they have complete curative control over the content they offer up for public perusal. Frequently, to see someone’s feed is to see a life that all too often looks to perfect to be true, as many people often only disseminate the positive facets of their lives. With this in mind, it’s hardly surprising that people are turning more and more to photography modification software suites like Photoshop to further touch up their image and how they are perceived.
Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder
More and more people are becoming literate in Photoshop, whether for work or as a hobby. More people have also cottoned on to the fact that they can apply these resources to their social media photos to edit out unflattering blemishes and otherwise make themselves look better. Show someone a picture of themselves and they will automatically home in on parts of the photo they feel to be negative. It stands to reason that the insecurities we feel internally about ourselves will be projected onto our record image. Therefore people are using technology to set about improving how they look in photos. Photoshop can be used for anything, from brightening skin or coloring out bags under the eyes to removing shadows, smoothing out wrinkles and removing blemishes like spots, moles, and birthmarks. The software is intuitive and easy to pick up, so it’s natural that people will gravitate to its use to try and make themselves look younger, fitter or more attractive.
The Skin We’re In
The prevalence of social media these days is more widespread than ever. People are using their Facebook accounts not just to stay in touch with old friends they’ve met in real life, but to broaden their social and professional networks, galvanize political movements and even use for online dating. It forms an integral part, not just of our digital lives, but also our real ones, in many respects. Much as a person might put on makeup or style their hair before they leave the house, regardless of where they’re going, people will now use Photoshop to apply makeup in the digital realm, as it were. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but there is a danger that it will exacerbate the possibilities of falling foul of crippling insecurity and paranoia that extended social media use has been shown to induce when consumed in a negative manner.
Social Media Makeup
The practice of people digitally altering their own pictures looks set to rise, regardless of the slightly worrying conclusions one can objectively draw from these behavioral patterns. Much as businesses will spend a great deal of manpower and resources to help massage and curate their perceptions across social media, people are likely to do the same across their own profiles. In life, as in social media, however, so often we find that what we perceive as flaws or negatives are often overlooked by people, especially the ones who know us the best. We can only hope that moving forward, people bear this in mind and try to step back from themselves to appreciate that there’s a lot more to life than virtual likes.