Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Excessive research linked to depression

I'm depressed. 'Excessive internet use linked to depression, research shows,' says the headline in the Guardian. Well, blow me down with an email.

You could just as well write 'Excessive drinking linked to depression' or 'Excessive TV watching' or 'Excessive ironing' - or excessive just about anything (except football, of course, you can never be excessive about football). We all know that.

It's obvious, isn't it? You're depressed, you're more likely to spend more time than is good for you doing something that isn't necessarily the most balanced way to get pleasure out of life. QED.

So why does it take a Leeds University research project, detailed interviews with 1,319 people and a paper in the Psychopathology journal to tell us the bleedin' obvious? And why does the Guardian consider this to be newsworthy, particularly when the statistical analysis boils down to the responses of just 18 people (yes, eighteen) who are deemed to be 'internet addicts'?

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