Internet Usage and Depression among College Kids

Sep 17, 2012

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According to recent studies, depression among college students has risen, with a correlation to excessive Internet usage. Specifically, over the past six years, there has been a 56% rise in depression in this age group. The study found that college “students with depression spend excessive amounts of time on the Internet, more than an average student without depression.”

Said one student, “My internet usage is pretty ridiculous. I know when I'm feeling extra down, I'd rather sit around and check Facebook over and over again, knowing that there's nothing exciting going to happen.”

Another study surveyed Facebook profiles of 200 college students and found that “25 percent had key phrases or words in statuses that could relate to the symptoms of an individual having depression.”

Coupled with another recent study that found a genetic link to Internet addiction, these two studies help explain why some people turn to the Internet when feeling depressed.

Time spent online can have its effect. Another recent study on "health issues" showed that parents are concerned that too much time spent online can be physically unhealthy.

There are other old fashioned methods of limiting time spent online, such as unplugging to go outside and play or exercise.

To limit the time spent on the Internet on your PC, Net Nanny has a time control feature that limits usage by times of day or limits usage based on a defined set of allowed hours. It also has a feature to block certain sites, which would block someone from obsessively checking a website.

I work for ContentWatch and all opinions expressed here are my own.