ATHENS, GA (WALB) - A recent joint study between UGA and Virginia Commonwealth University concluded that Pinterest images tend to be more depressing than uplifting.
The study found that Pinterest users are using the platform to air their negative feelings more than to celebrate their positive ones.
Co-author Yan Jin, an associate professor of public relations in UGA's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, said "We found that when depression is being communicated or portrayed on Pinterest via images or text, there is a lack of more proactive coping approaches also being portrayed on Pinterest."
Jin and her research team analyzed 783 Pinterest posts, and found that "More than half of the pins referred to the seriousness and severity of depression," according to the study results.
The study also found that pictures could be a more effective way to reach depressed users.
"This is a great opportunity for health professionals and health public relations professionals to engage in and put in more effective messages out there on this platform," Jin said, "involving such things as health tips on how to deal with depression or providing the right coping mechanism to facilitate more positive discussions in this community."
The study is titled: "Portrayals of Depression on Pinterest and Why Public Relations Practitioners Should Care"