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Study Says Medical Conditions Can Be Predicted From Facebook Profiles

Is anyone else getting weirded out by how much people can learn from our social media?

A new study published today has revealed that researchers can use data and information from your Facebook profile in order to learn more things about you, including your medical conditions.

During the study, researchers from Penn Medicine and Stony Brook University were able to accurately predict a total of 21 different medical conditions such as pregnancy, diabetes, skin allergies, and even mental health conditions just by analyzing all of the information on someone’s profile. This includes photos, statuses, any other posts that could contain any form of information.

In this specific study, however, the researchers only focused on over a million public posts that contained at least 500 words from 999 participants. Even the language used could be used to determine the health condition of the person writing the post. For instance, words like “drink,” or “bottle” were most commonly seen on posters that were likely to be suffering from alcohol abuse. Surprisingly, words with religious connotations such as “pray” and “God” were 15 times more likely to be found on the profiles of participants with diabetes.

“People’s personality, mental state, and health behaviors are all reflected in their social media and all have [a] tremendous impact on health,” says the authors of the study in the report. “[Facebook statuses are] particularly effective at predicting diabetes and mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, and psychoses.”