It's not the Pinterest boards of beautiful homes that look nothing like real life. It's not because so-and-so is thinner than you or prettier than you. It's not because everyone else is out at extravagant parties while you're at home. It's not because that so-and-so blogger has way more followers than you even though you have a better blog (the nerve!) Ok… some of the above may give you a smidge of bitter feelings. However, one thing we don't talk about that much is probably the biggest reason why blogging may wear a person down.
It's from sitting in front of a computer for hours on end.
Yes, that's right. Sitting in front of a screen. Or looking at a mobile device. A study that included 25,000 people over three years found that the participants who spent more than five hours per day in front of a computer reported feeling depressed, anxious and tired. Japanese researcher, Dr. Tetsuya Nakazawa, of Chiba University said of the study “Mental health and sleep-related symptoms were significantly higher in the group having more than five hours of daily computer use.”
Whether you're a professional blogger or someone who works a day job in front of a computer then goes home and works in front of a computer to blog at home, you are likely to be logging significantly more than five hours per day. Personally, I know I clock in at least eight or nine hours per day.
All in all the correlation may not imply causation, some heavy internet users may have previously been depressed and use the internet as some form of self-medication. Researchers found depressed people peruse the internet differently. Oddly enough similarly to how a lot of bloggers use the internet since we're often required to multi-task between content creation, social media presence, and business development. One study of 216 undergraduate volunteers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, indicated “depressive people tended to exhibit high “flow duration entropy” — which often occurs when there is frequent switching among Internet applications like e-mail, chat rooms and games.” (Or blogging… who uses CHAT ROOMS anymore?)
“…people who use the Internet pathologically are most at risk of mental problems and would develop depression when they continue with that behavior.”
Lawrence Lam, an epidemiologist at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle, Australia, and his colleague Zi-Wen Peng at SunYat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China conducted a study of 1,000 high school students mapping the link between depression and internet usage. Over nine months they monitored the mental health of the students; 6% of the students admitted to internet addiction. They found that heavy Internet users were 2.5 times more likely to report depression than light internet users, across the entire group, including the people who did not report depression in the beginning. Lam says of the study, “The results indicate that people who use the Internet pathologically are most at risk of mental problems and would develop depression when they continue with that behavior.”
Have you noticed a difference in your sense of well being since you started blogging, or spending so much time online? Do these studies make a difference in how much time you hang out on the internet?
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