Researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology recently published a paper, based on studies that were performed on 216 students at this educational institution. These students were asked to fill out a survey that tested them on signs of depression, and these results were then checked against their online file sharing behavior.
The results were very worrying for supporters of P2P file sharing networks such as Ares Galaxy and BitTorrent: the students who suffered from the symptoms of depression also tended to be the most active file sharers, and the degree of internet activity (among which chatting, video watching and file sharing, all of which can be done with Ares Galaxy) seemed to correlate well with the presence of feelings of depression.
The Difference Between Correlation And Causation
First of all, certain institutions or pressure groups may take studies such as these and claim that file sharing indicates depression, but others may even go as far as to suggest that it may cause symptoms of depression. Of course, the latter would be absolutely ridiculous.
A program like Ares Galaxy is used by an enormous variety of people of all shapes, sizes, colors and mental states of mind. It does not cause any illness, whether physical or mental, in the same way tin foil does not cause insanity. However, wearing a tin foil hat all day long may at the same time be an indication of insanity, just like excessive internet use may indicate, but not cause, depression.
People Who Are Depressed Tend To Be Loners
It makes sense that those who suffer from depression spend more time at home in front of the pc screen than those who are healthy and have an active social life. In this way, there may indeed be a link between excessive internet use and symptoms of depression.
In this respect, file sharing and chatting with random people on Ares may very well fit with the image of someone who is depressed, as people who lock themselves up alone in their room will also tend to use the internet more for a variety of online activities.
Does This Mean Ares Galaxy Is Bad For You?
Of course not! As mentioned before, excessive file sharing may conceivably be linked to symptoms of depression, but it does not cause it in any way. If you are not depressed, you won’t become depressed by sharing files online or talking to strangers, in fact, just the opposite may be true.
File Sharing Brings People Together
P2P networks and chat rooms connect people with one another. While obviously this can not and must not replace offline contact with other people, it is still a human relationship between humans, and relieves our social needs more than engaging in isolating activities (such as drinking by one’s self, playing single player video games or listening to music).
So take studies such as the one we mentioned here with more than just a grain of salt, and do not fall for those who will twist these conclusions to fit their own anti-file sharing agenda. There is nothing inherently wrong with being connected with each other, and the free Ares Galaxy network is but one of many ways we can achieve this.