Feeling a little blue lately? Blame the Internet! Psychologist Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, calls our era The Age of Melancholy. He says people today experience more depression than previous generations, and technology may have a lot to do with it. According to New Scientist magazine, our lives are increasingly driven by phones, computers and especially the Internet. There's a constant need to check our email and text messages, update our Facebook status and Linked-In accounts, and so much more. The question is, are we being served by these services, and the gadgets that put them at our fingertips - or enslaved by them? Goleman says it's gotten to the point where technology is negatively affecting our well-being. It's becoming difficult to ignore our inbox, or see whether the news headlines or trending topics on Twitter have changed since we last looked. How did it get to this point? For starters, we're constantly surrounded by advertising implying that the only way we'll be happy is if we have the latest toys and gadgets. So - we buy them. After all, if we can't check Twitter from our cell phone, how can we keep up with our friends? The reality is - people who place a high amount of value on material items like smart-phones and laptops are unhappier than those who don't own them. Also, materialism is associated with lower self-esteem, greater narcissism, less empathy and more conflict in relationships. Also, Goleman says our culture constantly reminds us that time is money, and we need to be as efficient as possible. This is why we allow our gadgets to blur the line of separation between work and home. Unfortunately, not unplugging at home damages our personal relationships. So, the solution is to get back our feeling of control. We need to organize our priorities and set boundaries when it comes to technology. Switch off the phone at dinner time, stop checking your email, and lay off the Facebook updates. It'll be hard at first, but psychologists have found that the pivotal difference between happy and unhappy people is loving, social relationships. Spending time with friends and family is necessary for happiness. Tweeting isn't.