How Depressed People Use the Internet
In a study, students who showed signs of depression tended to use the Internet differently from those who showed no symptoms of depression.
In February of last year, we recruited 216 undergraduate volunteers at Missouri University of Science and Technology. First, we had the participants fill out a version of a questionnaire called the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, which is widely used for measuring depression levels in the general population. The survey revealed that 30 percent of the participants met the criteria for depressive symptoms. (This was in line with national estimates that 10 to 40 percent of college students at some point experience such symptoms.)
Next, we had the university’s information technology department provide us with campus Internet usage data for our participants for February. This didn’t mean snooping on what the students were looking at or whom they were e-mailing; it merely meant monitoring how they were using the Internet — information about traffic flow that the university customarily collects for troubleshooting network connections and such.
See on myaccount.nytimes.com