Washington DC: Depressed Pinterest-ers suffer from lack of positive messages, according to a new study.
Despite the large number of posts on visual social media platforms that suggest and fuel depressing or suicidal thoughts, there aren`t many for users to read and share that would help them cope with their mental state more proactively, the University of Georgia study finds.
Co-author Yan Jin is hoping health professionals can fill the gap with positive messages and images related to depression coping strategies.
The research focused on Pinterest posts, a popular social media site with more than 100 million monthly active users where participants are able to "pin," "like" or "repin" photos and text that relate to them.
The study found that many on Pinterest are using the site to display their depressed thoughts and feelings.
The researchers 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 said.
When analyzing these posts, Jin said there was a lack of specific coping strategies to balance out pins that suggest depressing thoughts.
The study also found few health professionals and health public relations practitioners addressing the issue of depression on Pinterest.
The study is published in Public Relations Review.