Instagram and Depression

This doesn’t surprise me one single bit (via MIT):

Your mental health is reflected in the images you choose to post on social media, say researchers who have trained a machine to spot depression on Instagram.

And this shouldn’t either:

The researchers found that depressed individuals tend to post images that are bluer, grayer, and darker, and receive fewer likes, than those posted by heathy individuals.

So, what’s the point? I think the last sentence nails it:

And that will provide hope that mental illness can be accurately detected earlier, allowing for more effective intervention.

If we can all do a better job of observing the behavior of others, especially those most close to us and those that we care about, we can better serve their needs and give them the encouragement and support that they need the most.

The missing ingredient, though, isn’t technology mind you; it’s courage. It’s courage from the folks that know something’s wrong but who don’t have it within them to say anything about it.

We all need a bit more courage and we need our friends to have just as much (if not more).