Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

No harm in extended internet use

05.02.2004


Heavy Internet use may be therapeutic for those people facing social isolation and loneliness, says a University of Alberta study--dispelling the belief that high computer usage leads to psychological problems.

A team of researchers, lead by graduate student Mary Modayil, challenged the notion that heavy Internet use increases levels of depression for its users. The research was recently published in the journal Cyberpsychology and Behavior.

Modayil and her team, made up of Dr. Gus Thompson and Dr. Doug Wilson from Public Health Sciences and Dr. Stanley Varnhagen from the Faculty of Extension, tested the widespread belief and the results of a previous studies that found being online for long periods results in greater social isolation.



"To me, anecdotal evidence suggested otherwise, which was a good reason to do the study," said Modayil.

During the summer of 2000, Modayil, then a master’s student in the Department of Public Health Sciences, questioned online users in the Edmonton area about their psychological well-being. This region consistently collects health information through government-mandated questionnaires which gave the research team a comparison group in the general population to use against the Internet sample.

In almost all variables she found that Internet users on average scored more negatively than the regular community. However, for each of the psychological items, she also asked when the Internet users first experienced their symptoms and "found that onset of psychological symptoms clearly preceded Internet use," at a range of five to 22 years. The research also showed that the Internet group reported a greater tendency toward membership in voluntary organizations and a higher level of helping others.

Those findings suggest that Internet use is possibly supportive and therapeutic and despite their other difficulties, these individuals are maintaining some form of social connectedness away from the computer, said Modayil.

"It is quite conceivable that socially awkward individuals, who nonetheless crave social interaction, would gravitate to a medium that allows for myriad social interactions of varying degrees of intimacy, but with the safety accorded by the controllable anonymity of electronic contact," said the researchers in the paper.

Modayil is now working towards her doctorate in Epidemiology at the University of South Carolina.

Phoebe Dey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ualberta.ca/

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College

nachricht Sustainable Development Goals lead to lower population growth
30.11.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

Decoding cement's shape promises greener concrete

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

Will Earth still exist 5 billion years from now?

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>