No one can deny that the Internet is most influential force on society in the entire human history. We never had such an unprecedented access to news, knowledge, and entertainment from cultures all around the world, before the advent of Internet. Although this treasure of information is huge and precious, this wealth has led to something called digital information overload. The human minds cannot handle such kind of constant influx of information without making changes.
Internet addiction is recognized as a psychological disorder which can make people spend too much time on a computer. This affects their health, job, relationships or finances. Whether it is depression which causes people to turn to the Internet for social fulfilment, or whether excessive use of the Internet can make people depressed – this is subject to research and discussion.
A new research study by psychologists at Leeds University, England postulated that people who spend 10 hours or more a day online are more likely to show signs of depression.
Over-engaging in websites that replaces the normal social interaction like Facebook might be linked to psychological disorders like depression and addiction. Moderate to severe depression is likely to happen among people who are addicted to the Internet.
Recognizing Depression due to surfing online
People who spend high amounts of time surfing online does not realize the impact of lack of social interactions. Slowly the depression symptoms start piling on them. Know these early signs of depression from the National Institute of Mental Health:
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- Decreased energy and fatigue
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness or excessive sleeping
- Irritability and restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once found pleasurable
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems
- Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
- Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts