Researchers looking at the internet behaviour of students have correlated certain habits, such as jumping between applications, with depression.
Using data collected from 216 consenting undergraduate students at Missouri University, the month-long experiment tracked peer-to-peer interaction, downloads, duration, chatroom usage, sharing, email checking and late-night activity.
According to Mashable the data showed that online peer-to-peer usage increased with depression.
These students share more music, movies and photos online. They also seek support in chatrooms “to overcome their feelings of isolation.” Other web symptoms include excessively checking email and late-night usage.
“Subsequent analysis identified a number of fine grained Internet usage features that associate with depressive symptoms,” Sriram Chellappan, one of the study’s authors told Mashable.
“Such features may yield insights towards developing software for personalized, early, in-home and cost-effective mental health care.”
However, in this study websites visited were not accessed and researchers were not able to evaluate associations between visits to specific sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, with depressive symptoms.