Social media has dramatically revolutionised the way the world works: We think differently, act differently, and interact with others differently when we have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat at our fingertips, a press of a button away from a portrait-quality photo, a location check-in, or a glimpse at a feed that tells you more than you'd ever need to know about someone you only just met.
And the just-released results of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery's annual survey show that being connected has also kicked off a trend of what they're calling "selfie-awareness" — as in, altering your appearance to improve the way it looks in photographs, particularly of the self-taken sort.
Over the past year, 55% of facial plastic surgeons saw patients who cited wanting to look better in selfies as the reason why they were considering going under the knife — and that's up 13 percentage points since 2016, which means the trend is only growing year over year. That conclusion has an ominous whiff of an upcoming episode of Black Mirror to it, but it also makes perfect sense. While many voluntary plastic-surgery decisions are surely driven by the desire to "look better," in photos or otherwise, being satisfied with the version of yourself that you see in pictures now carries much more significance than just being immortalised in a photo album (or on your driver's license — but that's another story entirely).
"Consumers are only a swipe away from finding love and a new look, and this movement is only going to get stronger," AAFPRS President William H. Truswell, M.D., said in a press release. By that logic, a good selfie could make or break your ability to match with your soulmate — and those "tiny tweaks" we all make in FaceTune just don't hold up in person, no matter how dim the lighting is in any particular date-night restaurant.