Are we Snapchatting our self-esteem down the drain?

So unless you live under a rock, you know what Snapchat is.  A social media platform for the younger set, it is a selfie-based app that allows you to send pictures or videos of yourself with added text to your friends, or add them to your "Story" which is visible for 24 hours.

The thing that makes Snapchat different from other apps is the filters.  The dog filter by far is the most popular, although I'm not completely sure why.  (At 38 years old, I am not in Snapchat's target demographic!)

At first I downloaded Snapchat just for my kids to play with the filters - they love them!  But then I decided that maybe I would try to figure out this platform. It does have a certain appeal.  You can instantly chat with people in a visual format and convey what you are doing in a very real-time, real-life way.

However, the more I played around with the app, the more I realized that I didn't want to send a pic without one of the filters.  Why didn't I want to send my "real" face?  I had very quickly become accustomed to seeing my face amplified by a filter - big eyes, long lashes, and even round cheeks.  It doesn't matter if the filter is designed to make you look pretty or strange, the filtered pictures began to look "normal" to me, while a plain selfie looked weird.

The "real" me on the left, "Snapchat" me on the right.
(As if you couldn't tell!)  :) 

Are we training ourselves to reject what we actually look like?  By exchanging mirrors for filtered selfies, are we losing who we are?  Like Narcissus in Greek mythology, are we falling in love with an image of ourselves?  But in this case, it is an image that isn't even truthful to who we are. For all of the hoopla around the media's unrealistic portrayal of beauty with photo shopped images, why are we doing it to ourselves?

I am all for selfies - be proud of who you are - just make sure you are proud of YOU and celebrate your own beauty - not some filtered mainstreamed version of you.


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