Mental illness drives some teens to become addicted to the Internet, but what about the reverse? Can pathological Web surfing trigger depression? According to a survey of Chinese high school students,the answer is yes. Scientists found that healthy teens who used the Internet obsessively— reporting that they felt moody or nervous when not online—were 2.5 times more likely to become depressed nine months later than less frequent surfers were.One of the symptoms of depression is a loss of sense of control over one's environment and the circumstances of one's life. There is a simple neurological feedback loop through which efforts bring rewards. Evidently, mastery and control of the digital device is not a sufficient substitute for control of real world stuff, like real tools and materials that involve real physical engagement and non-virtual challenges. The threshold for rewards in the form of self-actualization and release of mood enhancing neuro-hormones is not met by twiddling our thumbs on keyboards.
In the meantime, an editorial in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette proclaims "the end of books." Reading is changing as people spend more time browsing on-line and less immersing themselves in such depths as books can offer. Evidently, the video gaming industry, too, is facing changes and challenges of its own as described by CNN: What does 'video game' mean, anyway?
If we are all busy with what the Democrat-Gazette article called OCDs (online communication devices) not to be confused with IEDs (improvised explosive devices), we might note that both can have destructive effect. Prozac anyone?
And wouldn't making beautiful and useful things be much more fun?