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Depressed People Surf the Web Differently

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the quick-distractions dept.

The Internet 278

An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from Medical Daily: "Researchers led by Sriram Chellappan from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, collected internet usage data from 216 college students enrolled at the university. The usage data was collected anonymously without interfering with the student’s normal internet usage for a month. The students were tested to see if they had symptoms of depression and analyzed internet usage based on the results. Depressed students tended to use the internet in much different ways than their non-depressed classmates. Depressed students used file-sharing programs, like torrents or online sharing sites, more than non-depressed students (PDF). Depressed students also chatted more and sent more emails out. Online video viewing and game playing were also more popular for depressed students."

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So WTF do the non-depressed do with the internet? (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080511)

File-sharing, chatting, email, video games, watching videos--all those are the domain of the depressed, apparently. So wtf do the non-depressed do online, just read the newspaper and post ads on Craigslist?

RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080531)

If you'd RTFA, you'd see that depressed people do these things more than normal people, and they chat in a seemingly random pattern because they exhibit an inability to focus, which is a sign of depression.

Re:RTFA (-1, Flamebait)

SadBob (2645421) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080837)

I recently got depressed. I noticed that I would just stay in, drink cheap alcohol and download stuff to pass time. Often I watch something for a while, but it seems stupid too. Then I try to chat, but I've noticed that people are now wanting to chat much less. I could go to IRC but.. where would I go? I don't even know what I would talk about. There wasn't this problem before.

Even porn doesn't interest me anymore. Before I used to wank at least once a day, even more some times. Now it's down to once a week if even that. And I always cum so hard that it feels like I'm going to faint.

Now I spend 18 hours a day browsing slashdot. Sometimes I get too drunk and tell everyone to go to hell. Then I feel bad the next day and come back, just to get drunk again and discuss Linux.

Re:RTFA (5, Funny)

wrencherd (865833) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080997)

You should think about changing your userid to "ReallyReallyReallySadBob".

Linux is cool though . . .

Re:RTFA (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081011)

Thanks(?) for sharing.

Re:RTFA (1)

hendridm (302246) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081209)

Now I spend 18 hours a day browsing slashdot. Sometimes I get too drunk and tell everyone to go to hell. Then I feel bad the next day and come back, just to get drunk again and discuss Linux.

Wow, Mr. McBride, how the mighty have fallen.

Chin up, Joseph Smith loves you.

Re:RTFA (2)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081217)

Isn't there a #depressed channel on IRC?

Re:RTFA (1)

Goedendag (2618275) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081329)

I got depressed too and I noticed that the more depressed I get the more time I spend on slashdot, watch youtubes and try to chat more. Untill I read the study I thought slasdot was making me depressed :-) Still not at 18 hours a day, I hope I can change the situation before I hit the 18 hours.

Re:RTFA (4, Insightful)

QRDeNameland (873957) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080871)

If you'd RTFA, you'd see that depressed people do these things more than normal people, and they chat in a seemingly random pattern because they exhibit an inability to focus, which is a sign of depression.

I read the article and I'd say the GP's point is valid. All it does is claim that depressed people do more of the very generic internet activities mentioned and switch between these activities more often, while making no mention of what things non-depressed people do instead. Therefore, at most I see a claim that depressed people may surf the web *more*, but no compelling evidence of how they do so *differently*.

Re:RTFA (2)

SadBob (2645421) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080921)

Non-depressed people socialize on Facebook and share interesting things with their friends. Depressed people go to Google+, limit their circles heavily and follow geek celebrities instead of their friends (if they have any).

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080535)

no point in waiting from some non-depressed (and non-maniacal) person to stop by here and let us know.

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (1, Insightful)

Accidental Angel (2899) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080549)

pr0n

They post on Slashdot (5, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080597)

Duh! Slashdot makes everyone happy!

Re:They post on Slashdot (1)

LostCluster2.0 (2637341) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081107)

You should be modded Insightful rather than Funny. It's true, I do enjoy sharing information with others.

Re:They post on Slashdot (4, Informative)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081299)

Actually, I've found that anymore, reading Slashdot tends to just piss me off.

It's not that I have a gripe with Slashdot or the users - it's just that every time I turn around, there's a story about some idiot politicians trying to run/ruin the web or some douchy patent trolls making millions by making folks pay out for using some "invention that the average high school level programmer could figure out in an hour... or .. well, just so much of the tech news nowadays - because it seems that it's all just everyone out to grab as much of the pie as they can and screw anyone who gets in their way.

Wow, maybe I am depressed... nawww.. I know me - when I'm good and angry, I'm not depressed.

Wait? what was the question?

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080609)

Nope, I just posted on craigslist and read my local newspaper.

Fuck you

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080631)

What I want to know is this, why does it sound like the most social people online are depressed people?

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (5, Insightful)

everett (154868) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080803)

coping mechanism. When your brain is telling you you're all alone, you do everything you can to feel some sort of human connection.

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080969)

Not my experience at all. I moved my social life to the internet, then found that your online social life is an incredibly aloof thing. Ever meet someone online? Me too, where are they now? Fuck if I know. Hell, if you use the internet as your primary means of communication there's a good chance your own mother won't answer your email. Basically, people are shit all excuses for companionship on the internet. Call 'em on the phone though...

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081111)

Wait, you're saying people RL/Phone are less shit excuses for companionship than OL? Because I gotta say in my own experience they're shit-all in both places, and I've had just as good of luck with people I met online as I did RL, which is to say, pretty lousy. The best being 'I've been too busy to call you.' but when *THEY* need something they're blowing up your phone even though you haven't heard from them in weeks/months.

Society does more to depress me than anything else in life. Hence why I prefer to play videogames and veg on entertainment. At least you know WHEN those two are going to let you down. Usually at the end. Or if they're really horrible, at the beginning.

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (4, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080985)

When I'm depressed, I do everything I can to avoid human connection altogether.

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (2)

Maow (620678) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081301)

When I'm depressed, I do everything I can to avoid human connection altogether.

This seems more like my experience. Cannot fathom "connecting" when feeling depressed; rather to stay in the house, put phone in airplane mode, avoid checking email, hunker down & wait for the storm to pass.

Oops, just broke my own guideline, gotta go.

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080681)

Makes sense to me that depressed people would do more file sharing. File sharing is a means to an end, not an activity in and of itself. It follows that a depressed person might say, "Fuck it, I'm just going to stay home and watch every episode of Game of Thrones and eat Cheetos until I fall asleep."

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (4, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080953)

"Fuck it, I'm just going to stay home and watch every episode of Game of Thrones and eat Cheetos until I fall asleep."

That plan sounds pretty rad, actually.

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081267)

Note that I do not believe you need to be experiencing depression to follow this plan, and I wish you godspeed, sir! I recommend something to wash down those Cheetos, though.

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080689)

It's that they did MORE of it. I guess the depressed student sits in front of his computer 16 hours a day, while the nondepressed student turns it off and goes off to do something. Also the article says they suffer from ADD-like symptoms... constantly jumping from website to email to downloading and back to the web.

Hmmm.
I guess I'm depressed.
Actually it's more like "bored".

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (3, Funny)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080739)

"File-sharing, chatting, email,..."

They have it backwards.
If you watched lots of shared Hollywood crap, you'd be depressed too.

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080749)

Watch pr0n, I presume? In fact, doesn't that give you endorphins and all kind of goodies?

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080751)

I have been dealing with depression for a long while now, and I do find that I spend most of my spare time doing one or more of those.

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080753)

File-sharing, chatting, email, video games, watching videos--all those are the domain of the depressed, apparently. So wtf do the non-depressed do online, just read the newspaper and post ads on Craigslist?

Hey buddy, I just want you to know that it does get better. Really -- I'm not just saying that. And also, there's no shame in talking to your doctor about how you've been feeling lately. Sometimes there are chemical imbalances that a very minor medication can address, and that's not your fault. So trust me, and just hang in there, OK?

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080809)

Facebook. You don't need any other internet to be happy.

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (3, Informative)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080917)

So wtf do the non-depressed do online, just read the newspaper and post ads on Craigslist?

They log off more often and do some of the many things that are vital to all facets of human health and have no online equivalent.

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (1)

tonywong (96839) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081077)

Anybody with a brain could have told them this. Depressed people go out less than people who don't suffer from depression. Staying at home = boredom unless you find things to do like download files, play on line games, email, chat etc.

It's their way of coping. Once someone isn't depressed they go out more, which means less of the things like downloading files, playing online games etc.

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (2)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081177)

Once someone isn't depressed they go out more. . .

Really? I don't know one way or the other, but I wonder. For example, I would expect people who go out all the time, but only to get wasted and hook up with strangers, to demonstrate a higher incidence of depression. Just my gut feeling though.

My take on this study is that it may suggest that various internet "social" activities are just the latest coping mechanisms for depression that fall under the category of superficial and ineffectual attempts to reach out to others.

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (1)

LostCluster2.0 (2637341) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081101)

People who have less money are depressed... so those who can't afford to pay for content are more likely to steal it than those who can afford to pay.

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do? Facebook (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081237)

Pintrest. Twitter. All the things media wants them to do and considers profitable territory for advertisement and corporate promotions.

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081251)

eBay...obviously.

Re:So WTF do the non-depressed do with the interne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081279)

No kidding! It really sounds like an evolutionary psychologist trying to troll nerds. Hmm, perhaps they are succeeding?

Cross-referencing with Slashdot, not a troll (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080525)

This will sound like a troll, but it would be interesting to cross reference this study with Slashdot's demographic. Slashdot posts a LOT of Bittorrent and piracy news, as well as a ton of news about very cheap gadgets in the $100 range. I wouldn't be surprised to find that the majority of the demographic is made up of single, depressed techies with little disposable income, which would explain the almost obsessive interest in piracy, online rights, and cheap gadgets.

There's a sharp contrast in tone between the angry subject matter of Slashdot comments and the comments on practically every other popular tech news site. For example, Hacker News, where the demographic is mostly made up married, financially established programmers and Silicon Valley investors, actively discourages the kinds of angry comments that often get modded +5 here.

Re:Cross-referencing with Slashdot, not a troll (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080579)

Little disposable income?
That is why we constantly have apple articles and things about the latest android gadgets?

I would suggest that you would have been right a long time ago, but slashdot these days skews older.

I know you are just trying to shill for your crappy slashdot alternative though.

Re:Cross-referencing with Slashdot, not a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080671)

The "constant" Apple articles are usually negative toward Apple, and the Android gadget articles are often about $100-$200 budget devices. The most recent Android article proves my point--it's about a $49 Android computer [slashdot.org] .

I have no association with Hacker News, but I do find your dismissal of it strange, as if Slashdot is somehow at the forefront of technology news today. HN, Reddit, and other sites supplanted Slashdot several years ago. All I was doing is pointing out how Slashdot has decided to embrace a particular demographic niche to stay afloat.

Re:Cross-referencing with Slashdot, not a troll (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080733)

The Apple articles are often negative because Apples often does bad things. Yet, they make very good hardware (Typing this on my macbook air). Android gadget articles do also cover the expensive devices. The fact that you found one article does not prove much.

I dismiss Hacker News because it is crappy. Slashdot is no longer the forefront of technology, it just isn't as crappy as Hacker News. Heck, slashdot was always days behind, even years ago. Reddit is even worse.

Re:Cross-referencing with Slashdot, not a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081231)

I wouldn't even call Slashdot a tech news site, it mostly an angry political forum filled with techies, and the balance of the content is science. Hacker news actually has programming/programmer news, unlike here, where they might briefly mention a new version of Perl but that's about it.

Re:Cross-referencing with Slashdot, not a troll (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080827)

Little disposable income?
That is why we constantly have apple articles and things about the latest android gadgets?

Why do you think the disposable income becomes so little? So many gadgets...

Re:Cross-referencing with Slashdot, not a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081125)

> Little disposable income?

The consistant theme in slashdot commentary is that the cheapest option is always the best one, whether that be OSS, piracy, or $400 seven-pound AMD laptops. Either this site attracts tight-asses, or (as I suspect) disposable income ain't great.

Re:Cross-referencing with Slashdot, not a troll (1)

KickAir 8P (2639923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080657)

If true, would that mean the RIAA/MPAA/etc, by attacking those who use file-sharing programs/torrents/online sharing sites the most, are discriminating against people because of their medical condition (clinical depression)? ~

Re:Cross-referencing with Slashdot, not a troll (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080947)

My employer disagrees:

http://thehackernews.com/ [thehackernews.com] has been blocked. Reason: The category of Hacking has been blocked by your System Administrator

Re:Cross-referencing with Slashdot, not a troll (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080955)

This will sound like a troll, but it would be interesting to cross reference this study with Slashdot's demographic. Slashdot posts a LOT of Bittorrent and piracy news, as well as a ton of news about very cheap gadgets in the $100 range. I wouldn't be surprised to find that the majority of the demographic is made up of single, depressed techies with little disposable income, which would explain the almost obsessive interest in piracy, online rights, and cheap gadgets.

There's a sharp contrast in tone between the angry subject matter of Slashdot comments and the comments on practically every other popular tech news site. For example, Hacker News, where the demographic is mostly made up married, financially established programmers and Silicon Valley investors, actively discourages the kinds of angry comments that often get modded +5 here.

Oh, you're a troll.

To paraphrase TFA and Steven Wright (5, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080537)

"Depressed people skate on the other side of the ice."

Re:To paraphrase TFA and Steven Wright (4, Funny)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080759)

Wouldn't they drown then?

Dressed People (5, Funny)

Bigby (659157) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080543)

I read the title as "dressed" people. I thought, "well of course dressed people surf the Internet differently than naked people".

Re:Dressed People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080717)

I had the same issue. Apparently us depressed people also can't focus enough to read the word "depressed" right :(

captch: darkroom (where I wish I was)

Correlation and Causality (3, Insightful)

RalphWigum (519738) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080555)

Yay! Another correlation != causality study. Everyone jump to conclusions in 5...4...3...2...1

Re:Correlation and Causality (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080593)

By correlating this study with the one from yesterday, it is clear that depression leads to creative solutions to problems. Time to ban prozac.

(Although, I wonder if the only problem that many prozaddicts will try to solve is their own depression)

Re:Correlation and Causality (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080621)

I'm tired of people trotting out "correlation doesn't equal causation" to dismiss practically every study they don't like. Correlation doesn't necessarily prove causation, but the point is that it's often a strong indicator of a link. For example, the random, chaotic pattern of chatting behavior exhibited by the depressed students makes sense because one sign of depression is an inability to focus and remain undistracted.

Re:Correlation and Causality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080649)

Yay! Another correlation != causality study. Everyone jump to conclusions in 5...4...3...2...1

That doesn't apply very well to this study. You might want to RTFA before you start doling out catchphrases you don't understand.

Re:Correlation and Causality (1)

BriggsBU (1138021) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080723)

Obligatory xkcd: http://xkcd.com/552/ [xkcd.com]
"Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing 'look over there'."

Re:Correlation and Causality (1)

Iniamyen (2440798) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081039)

Correlation is not subject to bias. It's just data. Look at the data however you want. No scientific process has been performed at that point to analyze the data and refine hypotheses based on it. So no, it doesn't "gesture furtively." That's your interpretation and bias. If not, you better take it upon yourself to let pregnant women with heart disease and diabetes know that they are very likely to have a black child!

So that means.... (0)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080559)

I'm depressed if I find myself surfing google images with safesearch turned off?

Depressing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080603)

Essentially most Facebook users.

This is the problem you inevitably fall into when (0)

gatesstillborg (2633899) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080617)

viewing depression as a fundamental illness. (Ie. you find yourself trying to draw stupid correlations to it.) Rather, depression is symptomatic of being lonely or bored. Would it raise any interest if someone said there was a correlation between using these web services and being lonely or bored? Of course not.

Re:This is the problem you inevitably fall into wh (2)

gatesstillborg (2633899) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080633)

Or, not insignificantly, being lonely, bored, or SLEEP DEPRIVED. Depression can be symptomatic of all those things.

Re:This is the problem you inevitably fall into wh (5, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080709)

I hope that your point is that not all depressed people can be lumped into one category.

People who have experienced episodes of major depression might resent your assertion that they got that way because they were "lonely" or "bored" -- or even "sad."

Re:This is the problem you inevitably fall into wh (1)

gatesstillborg (2633899) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081211)

That is exactly my point, that they cannot (ie. as opposed to the strict "brain chemistry" camp), though imo chronic insomnia is possibly the leading cause.

Re:This is the problem you inevitably fall into wh (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080825)

Except you're wrong. Depression is also caused by things like hormone imbalance (postpartum depression), prolonged grief, or serotonin deficiency, to name a few. In fact, loneliness and boredom are symptoms of depression, not the other way around (as you suggest). When depressed, people lose motivation, which to boredom, and have an overwhelming sense of worthlessness, which leads to loneliness.

When someone is deficient in serotonin, they find that it takes an incredible amount of stimuli to bring their serotonin levels up to normal. You know that feeling of satisfaction you get when you complete a project or task? Those who are serotonin deficient don't get that feeling, and instead feel overwhelmed by the very thought of starting the task. Because it takes so much stimuli to bring their serotonin levels up to normal, they seek out quick fixes, like eating sweets, watching TV, and playing video games simultaneously; or masturbating 5-10 times a day. That's just to feel normal.

So in short, STFU, because you have no idea what you're talking about.

Re:This is the problem you inevitably fall into wh (-1, Flamebait)

gatesstillborg (2633899) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081171)

Actually, I believe it is you (dick head) (and the majority opinion on this matter) that is wrong, that have fallen onto the wrong side of a "chicken or the egg" question. I believe the hormones/neurotransmitters variances are not primary, but secondary.

I do believe SSRIs can be helpful, though they treat a symptom, not the cause. Too bad there isn't yet anything to treat pin-heads, not that you would actually be able to convince them to take it.

Re:This is the problem you inevitably fall into wh (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081223)

You don't deserve to be alive. I hope you die as you finish reading this sentence, you pathetic excuse for a human being.

Of course! (2)

revelation60 (2036940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080629)

"Depressed students used file-sharing programs, like torrents or online sharing sites" Note the absence of Usenet in this list. Sounds like the bandwidth cap is the leading cause of these depressions.

*cough* (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080655)

*cough* bullshit *cough*

Correlation does not mean causation (2)

MLCT (1148749) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080659)

There are so many variables here that it isn't funny. I frequently cringe when I see social science "foo linked to bar says study" headlines. There are so many ways to cut the data, so many internal biases that influence what is published, and almost always not enough evidence to definitively prove a correlation-causation linkage (small samples sizes, poorly defined data, poorly handled statistics etc.).

Gary Gutting (Philosopher, Notre Dame) had a blog piece in the NYT last week that tackles this head on:

How Reliable Are the Social Sciences? [nytimes.com]

Saying "correlation != causation" != refutation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080719)

I don't think the authors of the study were claiming causation.

Re:Saying "correlation != causation" != refutation (2)

EvanED (569694) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080805)

There seems to be a pretty high correlation between studies showing correlations and people saying that correlation doesn't imply causation. I wonder if there's a causal relationship?

Re:Saying "correlation != causation" != refutation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080899)

I think the race to point out "c != c" is kinda like the "FIRST POST" game, but is considered more advanced because it only can be applied to articles about research studies.

Re:Saying "correlation != causation" != refutation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080857)

No, but the slashdot title and summary certainly claim it.

Please mod GP up. "correlation != causation" was the first thing I thought.

Re:Saying "correlation != causation" != refutation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080949)

But all they did was state correlation; they didn't say that depressed people surfed differently because they were depressed, only that they did. There is no attempt in the article or summary to present a root cause.

No way... (2)

Xeno man (1614779) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080663)

So basically, people that are depressed look for things that might make them feel better such as entertainment from videos, movies and games. They send more emails to reach out to other people trying to connect in an attempt to feel better. If you think about it, should anyone really be surprised?

Re:No way... (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080873)

So basically, people that are depressed look for things that might make them feel better such as entertainment from videos, movies and games. They send more emails to reach out to other people trying to connect in an attempt to feel better. If you think about it, should anyone really be surprised?

We might be interested to know whether these things actually make people feel better, as opposed to offering no help or making things worse.

However, if these things actually made people happy, why would they be more common among the depressed? It seems to me that the correlation would be reversed.

Re:No way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080911)

As opposed to actual interaction?

Re:No way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081191)

First, common sense isn't: scientific results that confirm common sense are useful. So are scientific results that refute common sense. You get plenty of both.

As a sibling pointed out, knowing the behaviors of depressed people might help direct research to seeing if those activities also help. Also maybe this could be used as a very simple screen for possibly depressed people?

Cause or effect! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080677)

Nothing depresses me more that having to fill in them captchas.

MPAA is depressing (1)

SomewhatRandom (1299167) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080679)

"Depressed students used file-sharing programs, like torrents or online sharing sites"...

Wouldn't you be depressed if you recieved threatening letters from the MPAA?

tail wagging the dog (2)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080699)

The internet is MAKING the people depressed!

Re:tail wagging the dog (1)

perles (1855088) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080789)

and TV makes them dumb!

Entitlement, ego-centrism. sloth (1, Interesting)

Kohath (38547) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080721)

I wonder if depression is correlated with an entitlement mentality and ego-centrism. It is definitely correlated with a lack of exercise.

what else? (1)

nilbog (732352) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080769)

Okay so what were the non-depressed people doing? I wasn't aware there was anything else to do on the Internet.

causality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080773)

So, yes I am a slacker and did not RTFineA. But from the description who cares -- there's no implied causality -- without establishing a causal relationship anything coming from the study fails become actionable intelligence.

Boredom (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080843)

Sounds more like they've misdiagnosed those with depression; they sound like they're bored -- not depressed

selection of students (1)

e**(i pi)-1 (462311) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080875)

the study is rather limited since 216 students is a small sample. And how did they get the students? If it was voluntarily, then the sample was already biased from the beginning. They could not have monitored the internet use of a random sample without their consent without violating basic guidelines for using human subjects in research. The later rather severe in academic setups. It must have been rather difficult to get these students also because who would agree to have all their online activities monitored and analyzed.

Re:selection of students (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080951)

It must have been rather difficult to get these students also because who would agree to have all their online activities monitored and analyzed.

Um, practically anyone who uses the internet without jumping through hoops to try to avoid it?

Duh... (1)

Konsalik (1921874) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080915)

Obviously they all study engineering...

So all the rest are... (1)

m1kesm1th (305697) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080993)

looking at porn.

So are they depressed because they're file-sharing and chatting or because they've missed out on pornhub.

Reverse Pysch (1)

tanujt (1909206) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081047)

I do all of that every time I go on the intertubes. I must be depressed?

Well, that means I would do more of all that...but then I'll be more depressed if I do that, so I'll do more [overclock.net] of it..

Not depressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081139)

O-pressed. I've been in both places. Often, you don't feel like interacting with assholes who don't share any of your interests and only want to assert their authority over you. Down with the "depressed" moniker! Stop numbing yourselves with benzodiazepenes and SSRIs!! Take back our internet homeland!! For the gnu dawn!! :p

Not "different", but "more" (3)

wrencherd (865833) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081189)

The bulk of TFA seems to be making the point that the more depressed respondents used the internet more, though in the same ways, as their less depressed cohorts.

That's neither surprising nor a bad thing since the main thing that people do with the internet is communicate with others. The primary problem for depressed people is feeling that they are alone and isolated in their suffering.

In that respect, particularly for college students who may be away from their homes for the first time in their lives, the internet is probably a good (and ready) palliative.

Get Help? (2)

EQ (28372) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081193)

I use BT, chat, email, FG and even play WoW and flash games. So I guess I'm in trouble:

Come see the symptoms inherent in the system, Help Help, I'm being depressed!

What kind of bunk is that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081205)

Depressed people don't have a life or money to blow on entertainment? No shit. Pull the other one.

Avoiding People (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081235)

It's called escapism. I watched vidoes and played games so I wouldn't have to think of my miserable life. Of course doing those things didn't help fix my problems, so I always ended up feeling worse sometime afterwards. But I didn't have any motivation to get any real work done. I don't do online chats and don't have many (if any) friends to send emails to (not that I would have anything to say), but I prefer online communications compared with face to face. It's a lot easier to write a response than it is to stand next to someone and try to completely hide your depression. People don't like being around other depressed people; it's depressing.

Maintaining face is extermely difficult when you're really depressed. Happy people make you want to cry because you're never that happy and can't ever get there. You also haven't acoomplished anything (you sat around for 3-4 hours being too depressed to do anything), so when people ask you "what's up" you have no answer. There's only so many ways to sound busy.

what else? (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081245)

If depressed people did more file-sharing programs, torrents, online sharing sites, chatting more, email, online video viewing, and game playing...what did the non depressed people do? What's LEFT?

Thought it said something funny (2)

CptNerd (455084) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081257)

For a second there, I thought the title was "Depressed People Surf the Web Diffidently," whereupon I thought, "Of course."

Then I read it again....

advertising? (4, Interesting)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081265)

http://www.alternet.org/health/68043 [alternet.org]

it's an advertiser's job to make you unhappy. if you are content with what you have, and only wish to buy things you need, a lot of worthless junk would never get sold. think about how your (imaginary?) girlfriend/wife goes shopping to make herself feel better. materialism is condemned by just about every religion that preaches happiness through the "denial of the crystalline" -- to quote a Meshuggah song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IiP-Vdx_F8). advertisers want to create depression in you because it's proven to drive sales. you spend to fill the void, and the void is created by attachment to status and the expensive crap required to get it. all of this was true for tv, and now it's our interactive tv, the internet.

http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/consumerism-and-its-antisocial-effects-can-be-turned-onor-off.html [psychologicalscience.org]
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