An article on reuters.com discussed how excessive internet use could lead to depression.
The article stated that teens who use the internet excessively (between 5 and 10 hours a day), are one and a half times more likely to develop depression than more moderate internet users. A recent study in China came to this conclusion after conducting a nine-month study with 1,041 teens between the ages of 13 and 18.
At the beginning of this project, which took place in Guangzhou, none of the participants were depressed or showed signs of depression. At the end of nine months, 84 people were assessed as showing signs of depression and it was determined that frequent internet use was a major contributing factor.
Ok…so that’s around 8 per cent of teens showing signs of depression. However, it is generally thought that 12.5 per cent of teens suffer from depression. So if anything, between 5 and 10 hours of excessive online use could actually be eliminating depression!
I was actually surprised that only 84 students showed signs of depression. My first reaction was that sitting in front of a computer all day would make anyone depressed…and then I remembered that my job requires me doing pretty much just that – and I’m fine!
However, this key part tipped me off to another point:
“They can’t get their minds off the Internet, they feel agitated if they don’t get back on after a short period of being away,” the psychologist at Sydney’s University of Notre Dame’s School of Medicine said in a telephone interview.
“They don’t want to see friends, don’t want to join family gatherings, don’t want to spend time with parents or siblings.”
To me this indicates that maybe it’s not the internet that is causing depression…maybe the internet is actually the escape mechanism for some people and they’re using it to avoid their depressing reality.
Either way 5-10 hours is excessive and should be avoided. The hours you’re wasting online (this site excluded of course) are hours you could be putting towards meaningful real-life experiences. Get out there and get happy!
Read the original story here.