LivingSharing photos daily can increase the risk of depression

Sharing photos daily can increase the risk of depression

Depression is a mood disorder that affects both adults and children and involves a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in life. It is a problem that consists of episodes of melancholy during which the symptoms last at least 2 weeks. The depression itself can last for several weeks, months, or years.

Now, a team of researchers has linked sharing photos on social media with an increased risk of depression.

The rate of depressive symptoms likely to require treatment has been dramatically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic among those who most frequently share photos or videos of themselves on social media, according to the study published in The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies.

“During the second wave, a significant increase was already seen, with two-fifths of daily participants showing signs of major depressive disorder, compared to one-fourth of all participants. During the third wave, 45% of daily participants reported symptoms of depressive disorder, compared to 27% of the total sample,” explains Alexandra Valéria Sándor, a student at the Doctoral School of Sociology at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. and co-author of the study.

Symptoms of depression may include: a low mood, decreased interest, changes in appetite, unintentional weight loss or gain, decreased sexual desire, sleeping too much or too little, restlessness, fatigue or loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, trouble thinking, concentrating, or making decisions, and in some cases, recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or attempted suicide.

According to the conclusions of the work, “the trend measured during the first and second waves of COVID-19 intensified even more with the third wave. Previous results have already shown that the use of social media and the willingness to post self-representative photos and videos have increased significantly compared to the pre-epidemic period. For those who sent photos and videos of themselves or close family members at least once a day during the first wave on Messenger, the platform where the frequency of sharing such content increased the most, the proportion of people at risk of depression was 19%, meanwhile, was 16% in the total sample”, the authors explain.

The questionnaire measured respondents’ social media usage habits and their willingness to represent themselves. For example, on Messenger, almost 18% of participants shared representative images or videos of themselves several times a day during the first wave of COVID-19 in the world.

The survey incorporated the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2) to assess the mental health status of respondents, in which they answered on a four-point scale how much their interest and pleasure during their activities had decreased and with what frequency: more than a quarter of the total sample and almost half of those who share self-representative content at least daily reported having depressive symptoms during the third pandemic wave.

The current study contributes significantly to accumulating evidence of the psychosocial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and its interaction with other global phenomena, such as the expansion of the use of social networks.


Reece, A.G., Danforth, C.M. Instagram photos reveal predictive markers of depression. EPJ Data Science.6, 15 (2017).

“Self-Representation on Social Media during Lockdowns in the First, Second, and Third COVID-19 Pandemic Waves” by Alexandra Valéria Sándor. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies 


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