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Instagram Users Tend to Compose Selfies that Horizontally Centre on One of Our Eyes, Particularly Left

This alignment is because our eyes provide a wealth of information about our gaze direction and what we are paying attention to

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Instagram, Body Image, teenagers, posts, restrict
New research suggests that Instagram users tend to compose selfies that look attractive and not real. Pixabay

It may not just be artists who make their eyes the centre-point of their own original work. New research suggests that Instagram users tend to compose selfies that horizontally centre on one of our eyes, particularly the left.

This alignment is because our eyes provide a wealth of information about our gaze direction and what we are paying attention to, which may in turn be used to share important information with the viewer about our mood and what we are thinking about, suggest the authors of the study.

“The core result of this study was to replicate my earlier finding that painters tend to centre one eye in portraits, throughout the centuries, in a modern version of which the selfie takers are simultaneously both the artists and the subjects of the portrait,” said Christopher Tyler, Professor at the University of London and a collaborator in the study.

“This centering tendency opposes the alternative possibility of placing the symmetric face symmetrically in the frame, which would avoid leaving the non-centered eye ‘out in the cold’. These results are important for understanding the perceptual principles in operation as these diverse ‘portraitists’ choose the framing and composition of their pictures,” Tyler said.

Instagram, Users, Selfies
It may not just be artists who make their eyes the centre-point of their own original work. Pixabay

Previous research has suggested that painters apply the same eye-centering principle in their portraits of others and of themselves, whether knowingly or not, while other research has argued that the eye-centering phenomenon may just be a statistical artefact caused by random processes.

In the current study, the researchers analysed over 4,000 Instagram selfie photos with an equal proportion taken in the major cities of New York (US), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Moscow (Russia), Berlin (Germany) and Bangkok (Thailand).

The study subdivided the images into ‘standard selfies’ taken at arm’s length using a camera-phone or a similar digital device, or a ‘mirror selfie’ taken of the creator’s reflection through a mirror and including the digital device in shot. This is an important distinction, partly as it is needed to differentiate whether people have a left or right bias toward composing their selfies.

For each selfie the horizontal position of each eye relative to the centre-line of the image was measured, with the distance and direction of the closest eye recorded.

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Statistical analyses applied to this information showed that the selfie creators tended to centre one of their eyes slightly to the left of centre of the selfie, and usually the left eye.

Interestingly, this centering tendency varied less among selfie subjects than expected if the phenomenon happened by chance, and was seen consistently across all the cities sampled in the study. (IANS)

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Instagram Helps Women to Overcome Miscarriage Distress: Study

The extent to which this loss affects women and their families, and the longevity of their grief is a blind spot for clinicians

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Instagram
As far as we know, this is the first study to look at the intersection of Instagram and miscarriage. Pixabay

Despite its common occurrence, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding miscarriage and many women find that their emotional and psychological needs are unmet as they go through a devastating grieving process. But for some, Instagram has emerged as a tool to cope with such distress, a study says.

The study, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, found that the content posted by Instagram users included rich descriptions of the medical and physical experiences of miscarriage, and the emotional spectrum of having a miscarriage and coping with those emotions, the social aspect, and family identity.

“I find it endlessly fascinating that women are opening up to essentially strangers about things that they hadn’t even told their partners or families,” says Dr. Riley. “But this is how powerful this community is,” said Amy Henderson Riley, Assistant Professor at the Jefferson College of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University, US.

The findings are based on a qualitative research study on 200 posts of text and pictures shared by Instagram users.

“What surprised me the most was how many women and their partners identified as parents after their miscarriage and how the miscarriage lasted into their family identity after a successful pregnancy,” said Rebecca Mercier, Assistant Professor at Thomas Jefferson University.

“The extent to which this loss affects women and their families, and the longevity of their grief is a blind spot for clinicians,” Mercier said.

These personal accounts also provided insight into patients’ perspectives of typically defined experiences.

For example, in the clinic, the typical definition of recurrent pregnancy loss is after three pregnancies. However, the researchers found that many patients who had had two or more miscarriages identified with having recurrent pregnancy loss.

Instagram
Despite its common occurrence, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding miscarriage and many women find that their emotional and psychological needs are unmet as they go through a devastating grieving process. But for some, Instagram has emerged as a tool to cope with such distress, a study says. Pixabay

“I’m hoping that this study will encourage clinicians to point patients to social media as a potential coping tool, as well as to approach this subject with bereaved and expecting parents with more respect and empathy,” Mercier said.

Social media is becoming a common avenue for patient testimonials. For example, the short video-sharing platform TikTok has recently become a home for some users to make videos sharing their personal health struggles.

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“As far as we know, this is the first study to look at the intersection of Instagram and miscarriage,” Riley said.

“But this is a drop in the bucket. Social media platforms are evolving rapidly and a theoretically grounded research must follow,” she added. (IANS)