Anyway that's TMI about me all to say that I'm not completely talking out of my ass here (just mostly
), although I'd agree with you that severe social anxiety is different and is probably more difficult to treat with exposure therapy. Anti-anxiety meds are probably needed there at a bare minimum. We're talking about depressed people in this thread though, which isn't the same thing. Plenty of depressed people have no social anxiety problems, although certainly it's likely to make these problems worse.
I agree with you that it's all about how it's used, although I'd stretch that more to "why" it's used. Spending hours a day, totally fine. Spending hours a day to escape your sad reality when your kids are crying and the stove is on fire and you haven't showered in three days and there's an inch of grime on the counter and you have three projects due at work, not so much.
Can I just emphasize again that I'm not talking about large amounts of internet use intrinsically? You seem to be responding as if I meant that, but I would be a severe offender myself, in that case.
I specifically mean using it addictively, to escape reality, like the OP describes.