A recent study has revealed that those who keep browsing the Internet for long hours are more likely to be affected by depression than others. This habit may result in teen depression and may make even the adults depressed. This means that both teens and adults who are Internet addicts can become victims of this problem. But, the doubt whether these people browse the Internet excessively for having social interactions due to their problem of depression or whether depression is caused since they are Internet addicts, may arise in the minds of people who study these findings.
Addictive Surfing May Seriously Impact The Mental Health Of People
But, the fact is that experts of Leeds University state that they have concrete evidence to prove that some of the Internet users take to compulsive browsing habits because they find the chat rooms and the social networking sites online more comfortable than real-life interactions. These researchers point out how their study has reinforced the general belief that excessive engagement in websites that are thought to be replacements for normal social functions may have links to mental disorders like depression or addiction. They add that such addictive surfing of the Net can negatively and seriously impact the mental health of these people.
Depressed People Are Not Interested In Real-Life Socializing
According to these researchers, the findings of their study reveal that depressed people whether they are teens or adults are not interested in real-life socializing but they turn to the chat rooms or social networking sites on the Internet for having social interaction. For both the young ones who have teen depression and adults who are affected by depression, Internet is a boon because it helps them feel “connected” despite the fact they are not able to socialize due to their problem.
Limitations of the Study
There are certainly limitations in these researches, point out other experts. According to them, even if 5 percent of the total population has been affected by depression, only a fraction of these people are misusing the Internet or using it excessively.
Another limitation, as pointed out by these experts, is that the sample used for doing this study was not randomized or controlled. This particular problem has been existing in almost all the Internet addiction researches, these experts say. The researchers used the online questionnaire methodology for getting responses. There are chances of many people including teens and adults who knew about this study refraining from participating in this research or from responding to the online questionnaire.
Need For Objectivity
These experts point out to another lacuna in the study. Even among the non-randomized sample that consisted of young ones with teen depression and adults with this problem, only a very few can be called Internet addicts in the strictest sense. Further, the research itself had only one validation study and so, further in-depth and thorough scrutiny for verifying its validity are needed. The study will become reliable and its findings will be robust and authentic only if a larger sample is used for it, assert these experts.
These experts vehemently argue that this study is highly subjective. But, at the same time, it may not be wrong to assume that young people who have been affected by teen depression and even adults who are clinically depressed find solace when they interact with people through online chat sites or social networking sites. But surprisingly, the mainstream media has warmed up well to the findings of the study on teen depression despite the fact that it lacks objectivity.