Researchers Say Your Instagram Filter Predicts Your Mental Health

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Instagram filters are more than a fun way to jazz up your photos. They may also be windows into the soul.

Harvard University and University of Vermont researchers developed an algorithm to study a photo’s color and saturation, as well as the subjects’ faces, to see if it could detect those who were depressed.

The study of 166 Instagram accounts and 43,950 pictures found that those who choose the Valencia filter are typically in better mental health than those who choose filters like Inkwell, if they chose a filter at all.

The warmer the tones in the picture, the happier the person, whereas blue and grey tones indicate depression.


we scream for ice cream

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Using face detection technology, the study also found that those who had fewer faces in their photos — basically people who post a lot of selfies — were more likely to be depressed.

Researchers hope their work can “serve as a blueprint for effective mental health screening in an increasingly digitized society.”

If so, maybe then everyone can stop complaining about how social media is ruining humanity?

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