> Was there any sort of control, to account for the fact that maybe sad,
> lonely depressed people are most likely to spend a lot of time on the
> internet? I don't know if this is true but I'm betting it's at least
> partly so....
Not being able to see the so-called standards used or to be able to inject other useful elements or constructs makes me always wonder about the ulterior motives of many things that I see coming out of CMU. Anyway, most people know what it means to be sad, lonely and depressed and for one who is permanently wired with an entrepreneurial interest in internet development my experience is that the internet does not make me feel like this.
However, I did drive through Pittsburgh once and thought at the time that it really did live up to its name, which might account for why these sociologists weren't able to see the real reason that caused these results. Who's to know that this group of people might not have scored worse living in 1998 in this rust bucket town had they not been using the internet. After all, this phenomenon does swing both ways, for example, who would ever have guessed that prisoners without net access would not be as depressed as those who do. :^(
Furthermore the acquaintances from my pre-internet days who didn't get on the net became boring and offensive and I have learned to live without their jibes by cultivating relationships amongst those who are wired. Hey, hasn't everyone heard; - there's a war on between the net haters (capitalist newspapers, TV stations, etc.) and the rest of us.
I, for one, intend to be on the winning side.