Thursday, April 7, 2011

Students world-over show withdrawal symptoms without Internet

A huge study called "The World Unplugged" was conducted recently. About 1,000 university students from several different countries on five continents were asked to stay away from the Internet and any other kind of media, like music, games and TV. Lots of them failed the experiment. Those who didn't showed some withdrawal symptoms.
"I literally didn’t know what to do with myself" - a student from the UK.
Students from the US seemed to be the most addicted, while China was a very close second.

"I didn’t use my cell phone all night. It was a difficult day… a horrible day. After this, I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT MEDIA! I need my social webs, my cell phone, my Mac, my mp3 always!" - a student from Chile.
Students from 10 countries reported (when asked to talk about successes and admit failures) that they got withdrawal symptoms like distress, confusion, isolation, boredom and more. 23% of the Americans told that they showed signs of addiction, while 22% of the Chinese did.
"At the beginning, I  felt irritable, tense, restless and anxious when I could not use my mobile phone. When I couldn’t communicate with my friends, I felt so lonely as if I was in a small cage on an island" - a student from China.
Argentina had the highest number of students who said that they failed the experiment - 23%.

I admit that I would show similar symptoms. Especially when the media is available and I am told to live without it. Where is this world going? We are so dependent on our media right now. Internet addiction is seriously a problem in humans. I don't think it will be long before it is clinically diagnosed.

The World Unplugged blog has loads of (actually interesting) stats and results from the research.

[The World Unplugged via Ars Technica]