If You Use This Instagram Filter, You’re Probably Depressed
Posted: 10:00 pm Wednesday, August 16th, 2017
By Danny Serrano
A pair of researchers from Harvard studied 166 individuals, where 71 had previously been diagnosed with depression. Analyzing the Instagram accounts of these people, the teams of researchers were able to pinpoint the likelihood of which were depressed.
The researchers looked for several “tells” when studying the nearly 44,000 photos. One of the first things they analyzed was filter hue. Brighter colors indicated a lower likelihood of depression than darker ones.Black & white images coincided with a greater likelihood of diagnosis.
Photo composition was another correlative factor. Using a face-detection algorithm, the researchers were able to analyze the IG posts for the presence of faces though not necessarily selfies. Depressed individuals were more likely to have photos with faces but less likely to have photos with a lot of faces.
Photos posted by diagnosed as depressed individuals generally had fewer “Likes” than those of individuals not diagnosed as depressed, possibly because people are happier when they’re validated by friends and acquaintances.