Web of misery

日期:2017-11-09 06:50:46 作者:娄情倦 阅读:

This column could be bad for your health—if you’re reading it online. A two-year study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh has concluded that surfing the Internet can cause a slow decline in mental health. Social psychologist Robert Kraut says Internet use results in isolation, loneliness and depression—details at http://whatsnew.andrew.cmu.edu/ComputersInformation.qry?record=33011. Although the Net users in the study “talked” in chat rooms, exchanged e-mails and kept in touch electronically, they spent less time talking to friends and family, and suffered from the effects of lowered social involvement. Netropolitan recalls that similar things were said about computer gamers in the 1980s. But never fear. If you think you are suffering from depression, help is at hand—on the Internet. Depression can be brought on by many things, and the pages at http://www.geocities.com/~virtualpsych/what_causes_depression.htm do a good job of summarising the likely contributing factors. For depression tests, try http://www.mentalhealth.com. This site tells you how to assess yourself and where to seek help, as well as giving definitions of numerous mental health problems. If you’re addicted to surfing the Web, the Internet can help here too. The Centre for Online Addiction is based at http://netaddiction.com. Here you’ll find an Internet addiction test and a virtual clinic for anyone diagnosed as having a problem. But as with all these sites, if you have a serious problem it is no substitute for a visit to a real therapist. Your mental health isn’t the only thing the Internet threatens. It can also turn people into “mouse potatoes”. To see if you need to do more than push a mouse around, go to http://library.advanced.org/12153, where you will find advice on health, fitness and how to work out a basic exercise plan. More on these topics: