Which is your favourite Instagram filter?
The autumnal tones of Slumber? The bright highlights of Ludwig? The shadowed border of Hefe?
Well, according to a new study from Harvard and the University of Vermont, your choice of Instagram filter might provide deep insight into your mental health.
The study involved analysing over 43,000 pictures from the Instagram accounts of 166 volunteers, who were also told to complete a clinical depression survey.
The researchers found that there is a link between specific colours, filters and subjects featured in Instagram photos and depression.
According to the study, images that were darker in color (bluer, darker and grayer) predicted depression as well as a lack of faces in posts. Participants who favored the monochrome filter Inkwell were also found to have depressive tendencies.
The researchers believe that analysing Instagram posts could be a valid way of screening mental illness in patients in the future – an illness that affects one in four people in the UK.
'Instagram members currently contribute almost 100 million new posts per day, and Instagram's rate of new users joining has recently outpaced Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and even Facebook,' say the researchers.
While the study is an interesting insight into the relationship between photography, social media and depression, the choice as to whether a photo merits a Hudson or Rise filter doesn't necessarily indicate your mental health – sometimes, a picture just looks good with a glossy finish and a right swipe to increase the saturation, right?
However, given that we spend 1 hour and 40 minutes a day on social media, the study certainly shouldn't be disregarded.
Besides, if it helps doctors pick up mental illness in patients sooner, we're all for it.