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Internet Habits May Cause Depression

Internet Habits May Cause Depression

Could social networking be linked to depression?

A new study conducted by British researchers has revealed that those addicted to surfing the net are more likely to show signs of depression.

Social networking via the Internet has increased dramatically over the last couple of years, and via the use of dedicated social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, some people have developed a compulsive Internet habit, choosing to socialize online instead of meeting people face to face.

internet addiction Internet Habits May Cause Depression

Lead study author Catriona Morrison, of the University of Leeds, said in a university news release:

“The Internet now plays a huge part in modern life, but its benefits are accompanied by a darker side…

“While many of us use the Internet to pay bills, shop and send e-mails, there is a small subset of the population who find it hard to control how much time they spend online, to the point where it interferes with their daily activities.”

The study assessed the Internet habits of 1,319 people, ages 16 to 51. The results showed that 1.2 percent of participants were addicted to the Internet, and that these ‘addicts’ also had a higher incidence of moderate to severe depression.

Morrison explained that although the results showed a definite link between the Internet and depression, researchers are still not sure why this correlation occurs:

“Our research indicates that excessive Internet use is associated with depression, but what we don’t know is which comes first: Are depressed people drawn to the Internet, or does the Internet cause depression?

“What is clear is that, for a small subset of people, excessive use of the Internet could be a warning signal for depressive tendencies.”

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