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Filters versus Reality


Herman DeBoard III



Herman DeBoard is a speaker, author and successful entrepreneur building and selling companies in the technology and entertainment spaces. He has built technology used by organizations such as Sony, Warner and Universal Music Group. He is a Decorated Veteran of the United States Air Force and is currently working towards the goal of connecting the world like never before through his virtual surrogate travel app called Huvr.

The use of app filters can have a major impact on mental health, as it has been associated with increased depression in some individuals. Studies show that the more time people spend using filtered photos of themselves, the less satisfied they are with their own physical appearance and self-image. As a succesfsful developer of apps, tech leaders need to take this into account as they are creating features for their apps. 


As apps continue to use Ai and filters to change the appearance of people, the user's disatisfaction with their real appearance in increased. This dissatisfaction can lead to feelings of low self-esteem and depression. Additionally, filters can also promote unrealistic beauty standards and give users a false impression of what is considered "beautiful" or "attractive", which can lead to further depression and anxiety. The pressure to maintain an idealized image on social media can be overwhelming for some people, leading to unhealthy comparisons and negative self-talk. It is important for people to be aware of the potential effects of using app filters and take steps to protect their mental health. This can include limiting the use of these filters, taking regular breaks from social media, and seeking professional help if necessary. Taking care of your mental health is essential for living a full and happy life. 

But as a succesful tech developer myself, it is my opinion that the responsibility falls back on the app creators themselves. With valid studies supporting this issue, why would you, the app creator, encourage depression in your users by enabling a user to create a false reality of themselves? My suggestions for moving forward are:

  • Limit the number of filters offered by your app
  • Show warnings to users before using the filter
  • Apply labels to images with filters so others know it was a filter

As tech leaders we can take small steps for a healthier user base tomorrow.

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