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Social media networks create an environment through which personal satisfaction (payoff) is determined by the opinions of those that a person is connected to. A person in a network can be influenced to change their personal opinion based on the expected payoff determined by the aggregate commonality of those around them. When one particularly influential person does so it can cause a ripple effect in the network called an information cascade, by which the vast majority, and in some cases the entirety, of the network shift their position. It is interesting to note that these shifts in opinion are often subtle despite their grand scale.

In the case of this article, the underlying perception in question is that of the nature of beauty. The article details a growing trend in cosmetic surgeries geared towards making people look more like a filter. In the article cosmetic surgeon Dr. Mira Mahajan was interviewed, stating ‘People want better pictures, better selfies, more likes, more followers, It’s like a competition with one another’. The start of this competition was a cascade.

Photo filters exist to create minor distortions to photographs. Filter culture was adopted by a few key celebrity influencers, who were accepted under previously traditional concepts of beauty as very attractive. Those connected to the celebrities slowly began to associate their beauty with images that have filters, and those around them did the same, and so on and so forth. Now, in a time when filter level imaging has become a standard in beauty, people have begun to seek cosmetic procedures to replicate filters in real life, seeking to make the distortions found in filtered photographs a reality.




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November 2018