The researchers have found that the Instagram photos can tell whether the person is suffering from depression. According to a new study, the majority of users reveal if they are depressed via their Instagram photos. Two researchers, Chris Danforth of the University of Vermont and Andrew Reece of Harvard University conducted a study on the Instagram users. For months they studied and collected the data of 166 Instagram Users and 43,950 total images along with their mental health history.
Among all the target users, 50% of the Instagrammers were found the victim of depression within the past five years. During the research, it is found that the researchers were able to diagnose the depression of the user correctly 70 percent of the time. After observing the Instagram photos and the mental health of the users the practitioner can point out the depressed user correctly.
While analyzing the Instagram users and images the researchers explore many differences among the healthy and depressed user. The preference of the color, shades, filters, and brightness is different among these two. The depressed user preferred darker colors or specifically go with the blue and gray color. The depressed users also avoid posting selfie showing the face as they tend to socialize less.
The healthy and depressed person also have different choices when it comes to the filters according to the study. The normal users use the Valencia filter most while the depressed one goes for the Inkwell which is a darker one.
The studies reveal that the social media activities and the mental health are directly linked. These researches can change the diagnosis process and help the practitioners to know the patient in less time. These research findings and other recent studies show that social media data can be used to make low-cost and more productive mental health diagnosis methods.
However, the study also reveals the potential risk that social profiles have by sharing the user mental condition. Some of the users may not be comfortable with sharing their social media data for the study. The research was conducted only with the aim to find out how much helpful is social media in helping the mental health screening process.