With society's growing obsession with both social networking and plastic surgery, I guess it was only a matter of time before the following happened...
Social networking site Facebook is leading more people to have plastic surgery.
This is the official line from plastic surgeons who are getting many patients through their doors looking for surgical help after being left repulsed by the way they look in their Facebook photos.
Another additional problem is video chat facilities such as Skype which are allowing people to see themselves in a 'warts and all' fashion, which they have never experienced before.
And these people are getting more than just your standard facelifts and nose jobs to deal with the problem.
Surgeons have actually created a specific procedure to deal with people unhappy with how they are coming across in online images and they have called it the 'FaceTime Facelift'.
The surgeons say this has all come about because people are seeing themselves for the first time in the same way that other people see them. They are seeing a true version of themselves rather than themselves reflected back in a mirror. Full body images are also giving people glimpses of themselves at angles they cannot see fully in a mirror, revealing areas of fat they may have otherwise chosen to ignore or did not quite realise were so pronounced.
One Californian surgeon explains that using video chat facilities on smart phones has led many people to feel 'full and heavy' around the neck because they are constantly looking down, accentuating any excess fat around the chin.
The 'FaceTime Facelift' is geared very specifically at dealing with this full and flabby neck problem.
One woman who had the 'FaceTime Facelift' is quoted in the media as saying: “I just wanted a nice clean look when I'm conversing with someone on Skype.”
Well initially I was thinking this must be some kind of April Fools joke – until I realised it wasn't April. 'FaceTime Facelifts' sounds like something someone has made up for a laugh.
But the reality is this is where we are in Western society these days. With people obsessed with both social networking and their external looks it is no surprise, I'm afraid, that the two areas have come together.
I can see how this has happened. Who, in the past, hasn't looked back on holiday snaps of themselves and thought 'do I really look like that'? Fortunately not many people as a result used to immediately opt to go under the knife to deal with the problem. Once the photos were put away, we may have declined that second helping of desert that day but there was little more lasting effect.
However, there has evidently been a radical shift from this outlook on things. Social media is making people's photographs so very public so there is no escaping them and plastic surgery is thought of less as a major operation and more something you do in your lunch hour.
It is terribly sad that people can't embrace their looks, however flawed, and be happy with who they are but in today's image obsessed culture I think this is becoming a bit too much to ask. The worrying thing is how far is this obsession going to go?