Study: People Who Are Constantly Online Can Develop Mental Disorders


internetGet off that computer. A new study finds that constantly being online can affect your mental health.

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg recently studied more than 4,100 Swedish men and women between the ages of 20 and 24 for a year and found that a majority of them who constantly use a computer and mobile phones can develop stress, sleeping disorders and depression.

Sara Thomee, lead author of the study, said there was a “central link” between computers and mental disorders.

“High quantitative use was a central link between computer use and stress, sleep disturbances, and depression, described by the young adults,” Thomee said in the study. “It was easy to spend more time than planned at the computer (e.g., working, gaming, or chatting), and this tended to lead to time pressure, neglect of other activities and personal needs (such as social interaction, sleep, physical activity), as well as bad ergonomics, and mental overload.”

The study found a correlation between stress and always being available on the phone.

“Demands for availability originated not only from work and the social network, but also from the individual’s own ambitions or desires. This resulted in disturbances when busy or resting, the feeling of never being free, and difficulties separating work and private life,” Thomee explained in the study. “Unreturned calls or messages led to overload and feelings of guilt.”

Even people who played video games online faced a greater risk of suffering from depression.

“Daily computer gaming for 1-2 hours meant an increased risk for symptoms of depression in the women,” the study found. “Often using the computer late at 48 night (and consequently losing sleep) was a prospective risk factor for stress and sleep disturbances, including reduced performance, in both genders.”

Thomee concluded that people need to set limits on computer and cell phone use and limit their own demands on their availability as to not suffer from these types of mental disorders.


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  1. If you read the actual study, instead of the results reported by media, you will see that while there does seem to exist some correlation between computer/phone usage and mental health issues, there is neither proof nor evidence of causation (it is stated by the authors of the study quite clearly, starting on page 49).

  2. It probably depends on what you are doing. Videogaming 24/7 will make you sick but to be online doing research, learning, working and contributing like we do here on Matzav is likely the future. I do not think that the future is going to be devoid of human accomplishment.

  3. And is there research investigating a link between high cell phone usage and mental health? Bet you there’s a high correlation. If your phone is is use all your waking hours, when do you have time to destress?

  4. Your 2 cents can NOT be considered “contributing”!
    I also disagree with your claims without any proof or research – for all you know, your commenting here is EXACTLY what can cause mental stress and disorders but gaming will actually relax and de-stress a person.