How your Facebook use shows that you’re depressed

What websites you search for could determine if you’re depressed, according to a new study.

Switching quickly from Spotify to e-mail to Facebook can be a telltale sign of depression. A recent study extensively correlates specific web habits, such as jumping between different applications, with depression.

The study by Missouri University of Science and Technology associates observed how 216 university undergraduates surfed the web for a month. About 30 percent of the students had depression, according to the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, an official screening test for the mental condition. (These numbers match the national average. Depression affects about 10 percent to 40 percent of the national population of college students at one time.)

This may be the first study relating depression and Internet use, according to the researchers who looked at a huge range of online activity including downloads, duration, sharing and flow.

Depression correlates with “common symptoms of Internet addiction” such as excessive video and gaming activity. The study shows depressed students are also connected to the Internet more frequently than their healthy peers. Depressed students also visit more health-related websites, chatrooms, social networks and gambling centers more often.

The data showed online peer-to-peer usage also 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 said. “Such features may yield insights towards developing software for personalized, early, in-home and cost-effective mental health care.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.