A new study has found that Facebook statuses are actually a pretty accurate way of telling if somebody is depressed.
The paper, published this month in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking, found that words with connotations of positive emotions were used twice as often as negative words, and that positive words had little correlation to a user's life satisfaction. On the other hand, those who posted negative statuses usually reported that they were also unhappy offline.
So while boastful Facebook statuses, as we all know, might not reflect the reality of that person's life, if a friend posts something negative they're not necessarily being overdramatic.
The researchers from Stanford, Cambridge and the Singapore Management University hope that their social media work will shed light on the nuances between self-reported levels of wellbeing and our real psychological state as betrayed by our behaviours.
The study asked 1,124 Facebook users about their mood using myPersonality, a Facebook app that lets you volunteer in psychology studies, and looked at their statements next to information from their status updates for the last year.
Last week a small study from Northwestern University reported that data from your smartphone can also predict mental health - the more time you spend on your phone and the fewer places you visit, the more likely you are to be depressed.