Are you surfing yourself depressed or do depressed people surf? Today I have been following discussions in several newspapers, both Norwegian (VG and Foreldreportalen) and abroad (Sky News, Fox News and Huffington Post) regarding evidence of a strong link between heavy net surfing and depression. Many participants seem to support the researchers with their own experience, but it is still not clear what is cause and effect here. I tend to find myself a bit more depressed when I surf more, but I absolutely think there are a lot of folks who dive into their laptop to get away from the problems in real life. In other words a little bit of both I guess.
Now, what I find interesting is why net surfing tends to make me depressed. I think it is because of the realization of the vast amount of information available out there that you NEVER EVER will be able to read during your lifetime! Realy – NEVER EVER – and still I write even more! And you read it! Extraordinary!
In 2010 we will produce six times as much information as in 2006. This makes out 988 billion gigabyte of digital information – this year only, and it adds up! I once saw something about reading all articles in the English Wikipedia. It would take .. uhm, couldn’t find it now – let us say a while! In the mean time I am quite sure you would reach what psychiatrists would call depression and Wikipedia would continue to grow even more.
Actually a quite similar story is told regarding middle-class woman getting depressed in Oslo late 1800 is told. It occurred when they realized there were too many books published to be able to read them all – how could they have meaningful and intelligent conversations when they did not read the same books?
Do you feel depressed when you surf too much?
Do you think depression comes from surfing or surfing from depression?