You might think putting that avocado brunch shot on your Instagram just shows you know how to have a good weekend, but scientists have found your grid actually says a lot more about your state of mind than you realise.
Looking at more than 25,000 Instagram posts by 180 students (that’s a lot of scrolling), a Korean research team focused on the use of colour versus black and white in correlation to people’s personalities – and found there was a distinct link between the two.
Writing in the Information Processing and Management journal, the researchers said those who had black and white photographs were more likely to be disagreeable, while those who have colourful photos were more agreeable.
The study wasn’t only about agreeability, but also your romantic prospects (your mum won’t be happy).
The students’ personality traits were gauged by self-reporting surveys. They were presented with statements such as “I am helpful and unselfish with others” and asked to rank their own behaviour.
The team discovered that the photos of Instagram users who were in unhappy relationships used fewer colours. In short, they said, if you’re relying on a lot of black and white filters, you’re basically a romantic failure.
But those who used colour on their grid were more likely to be associated with neuroticism or emotional instability. So it’s not all win-win.
Maybe something worth thinking about next time you go to post that selfie.