According to a new study, people who are depressed spend more time online, check their email more often, and bounce around from site to site more frequently than non-depressives. From the NY Times:
The Internet usage of depressive people tended to exhibit high “flow duration entropy” — which often occurs when there is frequent switching among Internet applications like e-mail, chat rooms and games. This may indicate difficulty concentrating. This finding, too, is consistent with the psychological literature: according to the National Institute of Mental Health, difficulty concentrating is also a sign of depressive symptoms among students.
What are the practical applications of this research? We hope to use our findings to develop a software application that could be installed on home computers and mobile devices. It would monitor your Internet usage and alert you when your usage patterns might signal symptoms of depression.
Come on, man. It's not bad enough I'm wasting 10 hours a day on the Internet, but now I get to have some widget on my desktop telling me I'm depressed? "This is an automated message: Get some real friends, loser!" Sounds like a great solution. Because if there's one thing we all know, the best way to help someone who's depressed is to urge them to give up their only hobby. You might as well tell them to quit being a pussy while you're at it.
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