What is the article about?
Social media once introduced to get more socially connected to one another, but usable for much more different purposes. For instance, you can implement social media in learning methods, or get students engaged in learning experiences. But can it be possible to use social media to predict if someone is suffering from depression? This article will give an answer to that question. Firstly, we will start with a short introduction. After that, we discuss how pictures can be used to predict if someone is suffering from depression. Thirdly we will tell what the differences between posted pictures and social media behavior are between people who suffer from depression and people who don’t. Lastly, we will give a conclusion about the article.
With the coming of social media, there are new promising opportunities for early detection and intervention in psychiatric disorder. It has been proven that by analyzing text from online media you can detect if someone is suffering from a mental disorder. But nowadays people tend to use less text-based social networking sites and more picture based social networking sites like Snapchat, Instagram and of course Facebook which has both text and picture-based posts. In this article, we will focus on Instagram because Instagram has a vast and engaged community.
The community of Instagram is much more involved than the communities from other social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. The benefit of researching if it is possible to detect psychiatric disorder through someone’s social media activity is the early detection of these disorders. People tend to search for help when it is too late, and the disorders already have significant implications for their lives. If you are feeling blue or down, remember there are social media services who are happy to help you feel better about yourself by upgrading your interaction on social media, for more information click here. For a fair price they will provide you with likes, followers and even relevant comments on your pictures or videos giving you an instant cheerfulness boost!
How can pictures be used to detect depression?
If you want to use photographs do decide if someone suffers from a psychiatric disorder like depression, you need to look at the different aspects of a picture. The characters we look at in this article are: Are there other people present in the pictures? Has the image been taken in daylight or during night time? Is the scene on the picture dark or light? Is the setting of the photograph indoors or outdoors? What are the colors and the brightness of the image? And what are the properties of a picture per pixel? Besides these aspects you can even take into account the number of likes and comments a photo receives and activity of a user, did it change or has it been consistent over time? The research found that people that suffer from depression tend to prefer darker, grayer colors. There has also been shown a relation between people that suffer from depression and the tendency to perceive their surroundings as gray or better said, lacking in color. And we believe that people who suffer from depression are less active than people who don’t suffer from depression. We believe this because people use social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram to share personal experiences about their lives, and we think that people who suffer from depression get confronted by these pictures and therefore are less active on social networking sites.
Depressed people and social media
There have been several studies that researched if there is a link between depression and one’s activity on social media. They found that people who are depressed tend to post pictures which are bluer, grayer and darker than people who don’t suffer from depression. It also turned out that the more comments a post received, the more likely the comments came from people who are depressed. Depressed people were also more likely to post pictures with faces, but with a lower average face count per photograph than healthy participants. Besides that, these people made less use of filters on their images than people who are not depressed. And if sad people used filters, they almost always went for the ‘Inkwell’ filter, which turns color pictures into black-and-white pictures. Which also shows their preference for darker pictures. At the same time, people who are depressed are on average much more active on social media than their peers who do not suffer from depression. More than half of the depressed participants that participated in these studies scored highly on ‘social media addiction’ tests, sometimes even so high that their social media usage intervened with their job and/or study. It was also found that people who suffer from depression tend to receive fewer likes on average than people who don’t suffer from depression. A reason for this can be that because they suffer from depression, they are less likely to interact in social settings and therefore have less close friends. When you post pictures with a high face count, so with a lot of different people in them the chances are high you will receive likes from them and from some of their friends. So if someone is depressed and post fewer pictures with a high face count, they will miss out on these likes and so on have fewer likes on their photos.
We began this article with the question if you can predict depression by the social media usage of someone. We found out that people who suffer from depression are more attracted to bluer, grayer and darker pictures than people who don’t suffer from depression. It was also found that people with depression are more likely to post photos with faces in them but with a lower average face count per picture than healthy people. Besides that, it turned out that depressed people namely post without filters, but when they use a filter, they namely use the ‘Inkwell’ filter, which turns pictures into black-and-white pictures. We thought that people who suffer from depression are less active than people who don’t suffer from depression. But on the contrary study’s showed that people who suffer from depression on average score higher on ‘social media addiction’ tests than healthy people. So in conclusion, if you see someone on highly active on social media posting namely pictures of themselves, in dark settings and with an ‘Inkwell’ filter the chances are high they suffer from depression. Maybe you could even help them feel better about themselves with social media services like the one mentioned above.