Internet Use Reduces Depression In Elders

A large-scale longitudinal study in the US seems to have found a definitively positive effect of Internet use among retirees. Comparing those who did and did not use the Internet, there was a 30% drop in a key measure of depression. The researchers' explanation is that the Internet's social functions (email, social networks, etc.) offer "remediation of social isolation and loneliness", resulting in lower levels of depression.

This study may have implications for technology adoption in general. People whose main disability is depression, or who experience depression as a result of other disabilities, may benefit from other technologies that increase opportunities for social participation such as communication aids and relay services.