Could the internet help reduce depression?

According to a recent study, older people who spend time online are less likely to suffer from depression.

The internet is often cited as having a negative influence, making us less sociable, more insulated and even causing depression. However, a recent study of internet use amongst older people has found that it can reduce the chances of depression by more than 30%. Rather than causing feelings of loneliness and isolation, which is an increasing concern among older people living on their own, in many cases it has the opposite effect.

The study carried out in America followed the lives of thousands of retired men and women for six years. It found that internet use among that age group can reduce the chances of depression by more than 30%.

Project Leader Doctor Sheila Cotton say, ‘It all has to do with older persons being able to communicate, to stay in contact with their social networks and just not feel lonely.”

She also says that that it all comes down to how you choose to use your technology. As with most things in life, moderation is best.

“If you sit in front of a computer all day, ignoring the roles you have in life and the things you need to accomplish as part of your daily life, then it’s going to have a negative impact on you. But if you’re using it in moderation and you’re doing things that enhance your life, then the impacts are likely to be positive in terms of health and well-being.”

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