Re: Internet use causes depression and loneliness

Robin Hanson (
Mon, 31 Aug 1998 13:06:30 -0700

I just read the research article this press is based on, which can be found at:

I find it thoughtful, careful, and persuasive. Contrary to speculation on this list, the study gives clear indications of direction of causality. Furthermore, the study fits with my experience.

I'll share this excerpt from their discussion section:

>On-line friendships are likely to be more limited than friendships
>supported by physical proximity. On-line friends are less
>likely than friends developed at school, work, church, or in the
>neighborhood to be available for help with tangible favors,
>such as offering small loans, rides, or baby-sitting. Because
>on-line friends are not embedded in the same day-to-day
>environment, they will be less likely to understand the context
>for conversation, making discussion more difficult (Clark,
>1996) and rendering support less applicable.

Robin Hanson RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884 140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614