Study Finds that Excessive Internet Surfing is Depressing

By Bizclik Editor

The internet may be among our favourite platforms for entertainment and information, but a study conducted at the Missouri University of Science and Technology has found that high internet use is linked to depression.

The month-long study gathered information about internet traffic based on the usage habits of 216 students from three undergraduate classes, personally monitoring their usage behaviour rather than relying on surveys. This is said to be the first study to utilise this “unobtrusive and privacy preserving manner,” according to the research paper.


Read the latest issue of Business Review Australia

According to the research, 30 per cent of students met the criteria for depressive symptoms based on the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) scale. National estimates tend to fall between 10-40 per cent.

Specific behaviours observed by researchers were linked to signs of depression:

·         Switching between applications

·         Frequent email checking

·         Excessive time spent engaging in games, videos and music/file sharing

·         Online chatting

Correlations between depression and other habits including online gambling, online shopping, social networking, visits to health and medical-related websites (WebMD can certainly play tricks on the mind...) and late night ‘net surfing.

According to Live Science, study researcher Sriram Chellappan is interested in using the study’s results to develop software that would monitor an internet user’s behaviour and alert them to depression indicators.

"The software would be a cost-effective and an in-home tool that could proactively prompt users to seek medical help if their Internet usage patterns indicate possible depression," Chellappan said. "The software could also be installed on campus networks to notify counsellors of students whose Internet usage patterns are indicative of depressive behaviour."


Featured Articles

Exec interview: Brook Sims, COO, MAC Diversity Recruiters

Passionate about helping others find their voice, diversity leader and COO Brook Sims talks powerful leadership, diverse teams and being a change agent

Best new books that will make you a better leader

From inspiring CEO memoirs to strategic guides, these new books dish up plenty of principles, strategies, and anecdotes to help you become a better boss

5 Mins With: Jeff Li, founder and CEO of Shoplazza

Named in Fortune China’s 40 under 40 for 2022, former Baidu head Jeff Li is the entrepreneurial founder and CEO of ecommerce platform Shoplazza

Workplace special – the changing nature of the office

Leadership & Strategy

Meet Shanique Bonelli-Moore, DEI leader at Clorox


Forterro CEO Dean Forbes – inspirational leadership

Leadership & Strategy