What Your Instagram Profile Actually Says About You, According to Harvard Psychologists

Usually, the life we showcase on social media is way better than our actual lives. We highlight the good parts and enhance them in a way that makes others envy this “perfect” life. No one posts about arguing with their significant other or feeling stressed, but everyone is eager to share their cocktail nights and workout pictures. This can lead to a false portrait of a person and others might feel jealous over something that’s not completely real.

It’s important to remember that Instagram and other social media platforms don’t reflect real life. Pictures and captions are strategically planned, and sceneries are enhanced by those crazy filters. So actually, it’s pretty far from the reality.

Social media has become such an integral part of our lives, especially Instagram. Your Instagram pictures are more than just expressing your creativity or showcasing your lifestyle. A Harvard study has found that your pictures may actually depict underlying issues such as depression and even relationship satisfaction.

So what do your posts say about you?

Couple pictures

When you share a lot of photos with your partner, you might be in a denial that things are not going as great as you wanted. You feel insecure about the relationship, and you need to confirm it somehow. You also want others to think that everything is going fine and that you’ve reached #relationshipgoals.

Also, posting couple pictures with certain captions can reflect a possessive relationship. You want to show the world that this person is taken and no one else should be interested in them. It is like marking your territory on social media.


If you take a lot of selfies where you’re all dressed up and put together, it means that you’re a perfectionist and you have high self-discipline. You like structure, and you want to show people only the perfect side of yourself. You hate when people tag you in their photos because you can’t control how you look; You like to be in charge all of the photos you’re in. Additionally, you appear older and more mature.

Workout pictures

Uploading a lot of pictures about your workouts and gym clothes might suggest that you’re a narcissist. You pay close attention to your physical appearance and consider it essential to impress other people as well.


In addition to different kind of pictures, the experts have also found that the filters you’re using, tell a lot about you as well. They found that people who use warm filters (like Valencia) tend to be more popular, and people who use Inkwell or black and white filters could be depressed.

It’s also important to mention that these researchers from Harvard University had a higher success rate at diagnosing depression just by looking at patients’ Instagram accounts. Depressed people tend to post colder, bluer, darker, greyer photos than those who aren’t depressed.

Have you thought about what you’ve been posting? Your pictures may reveal things that you weren’t even aware of, and if you want to keep your private life private, you might want to rethink what you upload. Otherwise, enjoy the freedom of posting whatever the hell you want!

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