M&C Saatchi and famed photographer Rankin underlined the negative effects of social media in their Visual Diet project

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Source: AdAge

M&C Saatchi and the famous photographer Rankin are implementing a very powerful project titled Selfie Harm, within a wider initiative called the Visual Diet, which aims to shine a light on how digital culture is affecting our mental health.

The initiative is led by Mimi Gray, Head of Visual Content at M&C Saatchi, in collaboration with Marine Tanguy of MTArt Agency and photographer Rankin, who believes that selfie culture is both monotonous and dangerous.

The Selfie Harm project, pictured here, includes images of 15 teenagers whom Rankin photographed, and then let them edit the photos to the point where they felt they were “social media ready.”

Shown side by side, the unretouched images and those edited by subjects themselves show just how distorted our views are becoming, which is especially dangerous for younger generations.

The Visual Diet project also included an in-agency exhibition of five inspiring artists throughout January, plus an Instagram account and a website, visualdiet.co.uk, where people can vote for which images they feel have a positive or negative effect.

A digital poster, using AI technology developed by M&C Saatchi, will read people’s reactions to different images as they walk past.

Justin Tindall, group chief creative officer of M&C Saatchi, said: “What we eat affects our bodies, so we’re mindful of what we eat. What we see affects our minds, but we’re rarely mindful of what we look at. It’s time we balanced our visual diets.”