Can Facebook and Instagram Tell if You’re Depressed?

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Instagram Diagnoses Depression...For Real?!

What if a psychologist could tell you had the blues by the bluish filter you often use on Instagram? The big news in the mental health world is that a social media site like Instagram diagnoses depression according to a computational algorithm for user postings.

A study published by scientists from Harvard and Vermont universities in EPJ Data Science examined the correlation between social media and mental health, identifying how people with depression used Instagram differently than those who weren’t depressed.

Understanding Social Media and Mental Health

This study signifies a major breakthrough in detecting and preventing suicide in our modern times since one´s depressed behavior, and need for help, may be made clearer to a machine than to the people around them.

The scientists studied what could be inferred by how often users posted and the types of images they shared. What they found was that depressed individuals tended to post more photos without filters. But when they did use filters, they were usually bluer, darker, and grayer than those posted by healthy individuals. The most popular filter for depressed people was Inkwell, which makes the photo black-and-white.

Which Instagram filters did non-depressed individuals choose? Filters like Valencia that gives photos a warmer brighter tone.

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