One Third of 18 to 25-Year-Olds Edit Their Photos for Social Media


One third of 18 to 25-year-olds are editing their images before posting them on social media — with many of them altering aspects of their physical appearance.

In a new study, digital identity security specialists ID Crypt Global commissioned a survey of 778 18 to 25-year-olds to ask if and why they edit photographs of themselves before posting them on social media.

The survey revealed that 33% of 18 to 25-year-olds admitted to digitally doctoring their photographs before posting them on social media.

The young people surveyed said they were most likely to doctor their photos for Instagram, with 83% of respondents admitting that they Photoshop their pictures for this social media platform. The next popular answer was TikTok — applying to just 7% of respondents.

According to ID Crypt Global’s survey, 18 to 25-year-olds most commonly edited their social media photos to adjust the lighting and tone of images (49%) and use filters (30%).

The most common reason for editing images for the young people surveyed was to edit their own appearance (42%), whether that’s changing their hair color, skin tone, eye color, or weight.

20% of 18 to 25-year-olds surveyed said that they edited their photos to remove an individual or an object from the image.

Meanwhile, 16% of respondents said that they edited their photos for fun with silly filters — and 15% of 18 to 25-year-olds said they made photo edits to maintain a certain theme or style across all their posts.

But while their goals were somewhat varied, the researchers found that many of those editing their photos had a common shared motivation. When the respondents were asked if they felt pressure to doctor their images to present themselves in a certain way, such as to look like celebrities and influencers, 58% of 18 to 25-year-olds answered “yes.”

A smaller group of respondents revealed that they took more steps to edit their photos, with 18% of 18 to 25-year-olds saying that they use a separate picture editing app on their phone to alter the image before uploading.

Yet despite the growing availability of AI editing tools including on Photoshop, only 1% of respondents claimed that they edit their photos using AI technology.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.