The Links Between the Internet and Depression

Friday, December 9, 2011

Photo: Courtesy of David Castillo Dominci

When many teenagers first turn on their computers, the first thing they check is Facebook and other social media sites.  Now, how much is too much?  Researchers have been tracking nearly 1,000 teenagers and the effects of internet use.  They have found that the more time online, leads to a greater increase for depression.  A post on U.S. News reads, “Teenagers who have an unhealthy dependence on the internet are almost twice as likely to become depressed as other teens, giving parents yet another reason to limit kids’ screen time”.  Each and every day teenagers log in to sociak medica sites and are exposed to hundreds of situations and conflicts.  Teenagers may become depressed when they are dealing with situations of their own.  Nobody wants to be disliked, and it hurts to know that others are degrading you and disrespecting you. Researchers asked the question, “How often do you feel depressed, moody, or nervous when you are offline, which goes away once you are back online?”  To me, it is frightening to see that teenagers are depending on the internet for comfort. 

But all is not lost; there are various ways of dealing with depression among teenagers.  One suggestion is to cut online time in half. With all the freed up time, teenagers would be able to do lots of other things: like go outside, hang out with friends, read a book or just be active!

Depression effects nearly 2 million teens and preteens in the United States.  With the internet being a large cause of depression, we need to look at how to limit time spent online. 

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