Are Internet Addicts Isolated?

I was reading the article that the Guardian posted about excessive use of the Internet being a possible relation to increased depression, to which they posed the idea that maybe the people who use the Internet “excessively” are predisposed to an isolated life, where depression is a likely symptom.

I know I use the Internet excessively, more than most people, and I often wonder about the effects of this use, and the isolation I sometimes inflict on myself. I certainly wouldn’t consider myself bereft of any human contact, and certainly I’m not a melancholy sort of fellow…. still, the study abstract does not define what addiction is, nor what it means to be addicted or how much use construes addiction (and the three academic libraries I have access to don’t link to the journal it was published in).

Combine the information that 14% or so of excessive Internet users are also depressed, which begs the question, what’s the percentage of folks that are depressed in general? Do we have reason to be worried? This sort of infographic that recounts the State of the Internet 2009 adds a level of depth to those finding… well, maybe it does. Does that mean that approximately 13% of people aged 18-29 are depressed?

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