Improving job prospects and enhancing personal appearance were the main motivations behind airbrushing images, according to a poll of 10,000 people across the UK.

Almost a fifth (19.6%) edited photos to enhance their professional image and 18.1% to make themselves look more attractive.

More than 10% altered images ‘to make my life seem more interesting’, while 9.1% did so for commercial reasons.

A similar share (10.5%) said they edited photos to remove friends from a shot.

And a small number (4.6%) admitted they edited pictures to deliberately deceive other online users.

Almost 20% of respondents aged 18-24 said viewing other people’s social-media profiles left them feeling insecure.

More than a quarter of Londoners claimed they were committed to posting ‘work-appropriate’ photos on social media.

The study was conducted by Digitalab, a photo-printing service.

Vital statistics

Do you edit your photographs in any way before putting them online?
•    Yes: 32.1%
•    No: 67.9%

Why do you edit your photographs before putting them online? [participants were allowed to select multiple answers]
•    To enhance my professional image: 19.6%
•    To make myself look more attractive: 18.1%
•    To make my life seem more interesting: 10.6%
•    To remove friends from the shot: 10.5%
•    For commercial purposes: 9.1%
•    To deliberately deceive other online users: 4.6%
•    Other: 27.0%

How do you feel when looking at another person’s social media profile and online images?
•    Satisfied: 41.6%
•    Inadequate: 12.9%
•    Unhappy: 9.9%
•    Superior: 7.9%
•    Unhealthy: 6.9%
•    Envious: 5.0%
•    Other: 15.8%

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