This kind of Instagram photo could be why you're single

26 November 2018, 14:54 | Updated: 26 November 2018, 17:10

Ariana Grande black and white selfie/Kim Kardashian looking at her phone.
Blame your Instagram page for your love life. Picture: Instagram/@arianagrande/E!
Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

Are you single?

Well, you'll be pleased to know, it's all your Instagram's fault. Apparently, the photos you post on Instagram really do show your true colours, shall we say. New research suggests that people who post black and white photos on Instagram tend to be less likeable, emotionally unstable, and have poor romantic relationships. Bad news, if you're looking for The One.

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Now, we've all found ourselves being overly judgemental, lurking on someone's Instagram page that we barely know and judging them on their filter choices and captions. Are you really "living your best life", Susan? Could my photos use a little more Juno or Aden? Hmm.

Researchers looked at just under 25,000 Instagram posts from 179 university students, then assessed the students' personal characteristics through an online survey. Analysing the Big Five personality traits, they found some key parts of Instagram posts actually reflect someone's true self – the content of the photos, the number of faces, the emotion on those faces and the colours used.


Students who shared more colourful photos tended to be easier to get along with, while those who used less colours or black and white pics were more likely to be neurotic, emotionally unstable, and be in unhappy relationships. So, you might want to rethink that monochromatic look if you're looking for love.

And there's even more bad news for black and white filter lovers. The University of Vermont also found people who love the darker filters like Moon and Inkwell are more likely to be depressed. Using artificially intelligent software, they were able to identify people with depression with a 70% accuracy rate, only by looking at the colour of their Instagram photos. People who were depressed tended to upload bluer, darker, and greyer images than those who without depression. The study also found that the most popular filter among people with depression was Inkwell, which turns photos black and white.


Scientists have been trying to tell us that our Instagram feeds say a lot more about our character than we originally thought.

In research curated by Sheerluxe, it was suggested that people who post lots of pictures of their partner are insecure, people who use the Valencia filter tend to be popular and people who post lots of gym photos – we all know that one – are more "narcissistic".

Not looking good is it? *deletes entire Instagram page*