Stop reading this right now. Go outside and interact with someone IRL, because your pathological (yes, we said it!) Internet use is going to make you depressed. Or at least, that’s the takeaway from a new study out of China in which Internet-addicted students were shown to be 2.5 times more depressed than their counterparts.
The study took place in Guangzhou over a nine-month period, and involved 1,000 high school students. The students who were classified as Internet junkies (via a questionnaire) “reported feeling moody, nervous, or uncomfortable when they were not on the computer,” according to Time.
Well, hey, now! We thought the Internet was supposed to make the world a more connected, more understanding place! And here we are, surfing the ‘net till our eyes bleed, getting lonely and sad. Thing is, is it the Internet’s fault?
If you’re a lonely teenager (and the study involved only teenagers), maybe you’re spending a lot of time on the Internet because you’re already lonely in real life? Then, once you’re already in the position of being a vulnerable teen who spends a lot of time on the Internet, it becomes a vicious cycle: You’re sad so you turn to online stuff to make you happy, but the online world isn’t necessarily a nice place, a lot of the time (see: e-celebs, StickyDrama). So that makes you feel even lonelier. Which drives you to spend even more time on the Internet.
Just a hypothesis. ‘Scuse us, we have to go play with Inception stills on Tumblr and watch Maru till we fall asleep, laptop clutched in our hands.