Instagram photo sharing and mental health: CSU research

29 MARCH 2019

Instagram photo sharing and mental health: CSU research

A CSU doctoral student is researching Instagram photo sharing and its relationship with mental health, and asks ‘What types of photos are best for our well-being?’.

  • CSU doctoral research asks ‘What types of photos are best for our well-being?’
  • Increasingly people may turn to photo sharing to feel more connected
  • Researcher seeks participants for confidential 20-minute online survey

A Charles Sturt University (CSU) doctoral student is researching Instagram photo sharing and its relationship with mental health, and asks ‘What types of photos are best for our well-being?’.

Ms Julie Maclean (pictured) whose research is for a Doctor of Information Technology in the CSU School of Computing and Mathematics says more and more people may be unknowingly turning to photo sharing to make themselves feel more connected, and she wants to know why?

“Photo taken, filter applied, post uploaded; but what happens next?” Ms Maclean asks.

“We live in an age where sharing photos in the online world is becoming the norm for how we interact with others.

“Technology has advanced such that people’s emotions can be changed through responses to photos shared.”

Ms Maclean is currently looking for people to participate in an online survey to assist her in her research about the types of photo shared that are most beneficial for mental health.

“Social media can be credited for the immense rise in photo sharing, making it one of the most popular online activities, with billions of photos shared daily.

“Selfies, ussies, food, pets, landscape or memes are just some of the types of photos shared.

“Which types of photos are most beneficial for gaining ‘likes’ or comments, and do they improve overall well-being?” Ms Maclean asks.

“A recent study of undergraduate students found those participating in social media photo sharing were found to be happier and more satisfied with life.

“So, I’m keen to collect information from people about the types of photos they share and what effect this can have on mental health and well-being.

“If sharing different types of photos has the ability to improve mental health, then we want to know what these photos are,” she said.

The CSU research hopes to answer:

  • Does photo sharing make us feel more connected?
  • What types of photos are shared?
  • What types of responses are generated from different types of photos?
  • How satisfied are people with the responses they get? and
  • How do these responses change mental health aspects and improve overall well-being?

The confidential survey should take less than 20 minutes to complete and can be accessed online by visiting: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/InstagramPhotoSharing

Media contact:

Bruce Andrews, 0418 669 362


Media Note:

Contact CSU Media via news@csu.edu.au or Bruce Andrews on 0418 669 362 to arrange interviews with doctoral researcher Ms Julie Maclean in the CSU School of Computing and Mathematics who is based in Sydney.

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