File sharing makes people sad

It's bad enough that file sharing is illegal, immoral, nasty, evil and dangerous, but the news just got a lot worse for those poor pirates: their low-down ways could be giving them the blues. TorrentFreak reports that a new study from the Missouri University of Science and Technology found that avid file sharers were more likely to be depressed than members of the law abiding, churchgoing citizenry.

We've spent a lot of time thinking and talking about piracy, but through all of that it never crossed our minds that torrents could be the reason we live our unbalanced, sad, anger filled lives in sorrow, held back only by hard (but legal!) drugs. But now it all seems so clear – or does it?

The study came to this startling conclusion by keeping tabs on how 216 students used the campus network. The results were then cross referenced with a self-rated depression scale (try it for yourself here!). Long story short, the people who spent the most time pirating were the saddest campers in the bunch.

Aside from being big time pirates, the same users tended to spent a lot more time online period, particularly chatting and sending e-mail. The depression had no connection, of course, with the fact that the depressed students might have been spending too much time online in general. No, none at all.

Study participant

Since file sharing, and unsafe internet browsing habits, are potentially a danger to our health, it is quite obvious that the medium must be regulated and/or neutered to prevent harm from coming to any poor unsuspecting grandmother who falls into the seedy world of BitTorrent. That's where lead researcher Dr. Sriram Chellappan's spyware comes in.

“The software would be a cost-effective and an in-home tool that could proactively prompt users to seek medical help if their internet usage patterns indicate possible depression,” he says. “The software could also be installed on campus networks to notify counselors of students whose internet usage patterns are indicative of depressive behavior.”

This is clearly another solid reason for ISPs to block all access to any site that could possibly be used for piracy. Not only is it a crime: it could be bad for your kids! And let's not forget about the dangers of second-hand piracy...

And remember: if you experience symptoms of sadness, self-hate, remorse, or sorrow for more than four hours after pirating, seek medical help right away. Or just let us know if piracy makes you sad in the comments section below.

Image via Gazeta Technologie

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