Tonight’s episode of the Perpetual Notion Machine looks into the use of social media mostly by international college students, plus how Snapchat filters can play into a person’s self-image. Our guest is Yanzhuo “Amy” Niu, a Ph.D. candidate in UW-Madison’s Department of Educational Psychology. She talks with PNM’s Josh Mitchell about her studies into how social networking sites help international students transition to colleges in the United States. But she is also about to embark on a study on how Snapchat’s auto-beauty filters affect female college student’s self evaluation. For this study, Amy received the UW Global Health Institute’s 2019 Graduate Student Research Award. Amy mentions that not only Snapchat can automatically enhance a person’s image, but in China, phones can default ALL selfies to digitally alter EVERY self-image taken. Over time, these images can have a psychological effect on one’s own looks, evaluation, and esteem. And this may even convince the person to have cosmetic surgery to look like the enhanced, filtered, selfie image.
The photo image above is that of Amy Niu from Snapchat.