Before digital tech and apps, photographers used burn, dodge, multiply, screen, and all of the blending modes Adobe's Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign mimic. It was a process that required time, chemical resources, and skill. Today artists and graphic designers can produce results very similar to the work these apps do. There is a sacrifice though.
The time required in the studio are gone, the results are widespread and even common so that most audiences aren't surprised or even impressed by photographic manipulation, and finally because the tools are so readily available the images portrayed in distribution skew viewer's perception of the world. Photographs are no longer valued for their authenticity. It is very easy to brush away undesired inches of fat, or even shadows on a landscape.
However, in spite of all those cons, the amalgamations of vision possible through the use of these tools is still infinite. And still, new generations, and light hearts do find joy and excitement in the artist's work. Take for example this simple strawberry a student and I manipulated in different ways using the traditional photographic tools in Adobe software. They could easily be used nowadays for an app icon, or to spread the word for a frozen yogurt treat. Your disenchantment only spans as far as you allow your bitterness to take root.