The choice of which Instagram filter to use might be more telling about a person’s mental health than you realize. It turns out that the filter people choose to use for their Instagram photos may reveal if they suffer from hidden depression.
A recent study from researchers from Harvard and the University of Vermont found that Instagram filters and depression could be linked.
The Instagram Filter and Depression Study
According to the Washington Post, participants in the study were asked to complete a standardized clinical depression survey, answer questions about their social media habits, and report if they had any history of depression.
Researchers Andrew Reece and Chris Danforth used an algorithm to analyze photos from 166 Instagram users and used categories like color and brightness, number of people in a photo, use of filters, and comments or likes.
Depressed people were less likely to use any filters at all, but when they did use filters they went for Inkwell, which makes everything black and white,” Reece says. “And depressed people have fewer faces in their photos, but they tend to post more photos with faces.”
Results from the study found that Valencia, a brightening filter, was more popular among people who aren’t depressed and those who are clinically depressed favor Inkwell, a black and white filter.
Reece and Danforth say they hope their research will help those who are struggling with depression in silence should certainly go and get evaluated by a medical doctor.
As of now, this study has not yet been independently reviewed by medical professionals.