posted on Jun, 5 2013 @ 11:01 AM
reply to post by TheIceQueen
The internet is both an amazing tool in its capability of information discovery and providing an opportunity to basically have discourse with any
random individual from around the world; however, it's also a brutal social lens in that, through perceived anonymity, it also provides its users
with the opportunity to say whatever is on their mind with very little social recourse. Worse yet, internet users tend to dehumanize the other people
that they are interacting with as face to face interaction and threat of recourse just simply does not exist for them. It allows for risk taking that
may not normally occur in day to day, face to face interaction. This is primarily why the internet can become such a brutal social lens as it
magnifies the worst in society so that internet users may seem totally amoral, rude to downright nasty, abysmally stupid (or blisteringly stupid) and
much, much more. It's really depressing on a social level.
Additionally, the internet also becomes a tremendous echo chamber. Part of this is through deliberate information propagation and seeding through the
usage of sock puppets that gets picked up and shared by actual real people who either appreciate or are repulsed by the specific ideology it
represents without much thought. Social media is a very huge tool for marketing and sociopolitical influence. If you're picking up on that, it
makes it even more frustrating and depressing to view because it's pure manipulation. Seeing that feature of the internet alone is a bit of a mind
wrecker that can suck every drop of hope out of a person.
You mentioned that you are a night owl. I presume that that means you're likely to be an insomniac. Insomniacs have a slightly higher incidence of
depression. Basically, all those hours spent in total solitude in the dark of night can be pretty tough. It's freaking lonely. The internet is
great in helping alleviate that loneliness because, odds are somebody is awake somewhere in the world. The problem is the above two paragraphs can
also become blisteringly evident and can leave a user to feel even more isolated and actually feed depression. As a fellow night owl, I used to
browse the net until I realized that it was actually depressing the hell out of me. Now I stick with what I did as a kid on hard to sleep nights--I
read a book instead.
There can also be physiological affects to internet usage (or any technological tool that allows for instant gratification for that matter). Our
brains are basically geared to reward learning and successful information seeking by its release of the neurotransmitter, dopamine. The problem is
that this aspect of our brains developed, from an evolutionary standpoint, over hundreds of thousands of years without the internet
not really set up to take in quite as much as we do when we venture online. Dopamine isn't intended on staying in the brain for long so it is
metabolized by an enzyme called MAO. In a bit of irony, both dopamine and serotonin share the same enzyme, MAO and one of the symptoms of reduced
levels of serotonin is sleep disruption or insomnia. So really, if you've always been an insomniac, you're really not doing yourself any favors at
all by going online at night to pass those ever so boring and lonely hours because it'd be a one-two punch. Psychologically, the internet alone can
be depressing. Physiologically, it can be noxious, addicting, and quite possibly muck with both the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain
with negative mood consequences and potentially increased sleep disturbance.