Instagram Photos May Show Signs of Depression
Social media is both a blessing and a curse. Adolescents seem to struggle with their identity as they compare their lives to the seemingly "perfect moments" captured on Instagram.
New computer software has been designed to scan photos to find hidden signals; it has accurately diagnosed people with depression seven out of 10 times. The study shows that those who post photos with bluer, darker, and grayer colors and tones tend to be depressed.
In other words, people with depression are more likely to choose a filter that de-saturates the color from the photos, such as the filter Inkwell, which is a black and white filter. Healthy participants chose filters that added more light and color such as the filter Valencia.
Another sign that may be associated with depression and Instagram is fewer faces in photos. Depressed individuals tend to post pictures with less people as they are less likely to engage in social activities.
According to a study, the computer program's detection rate has proved more reliable than primary care doctors as general practitioners correctly diagnose depression in patients only 42 percent of the time.
While the software program is not 100 percent accurate, it may open a window for parents to check out their child's mental health through social media.