If the thought of a day without the Internet — with no smart phone as a backup — elicits fear, anger or pain, you’re not alone. A poll from the United Kingdom found that about half of the people surveyed said that they’d feel “upset” if deprived of the Internet for a short amount of time.
And about 40% of the more than 1,000 people ages 18 to over 65 surveyed said they’d feel “lonely” if they had to go a day without an Internet connection, according to a July 22 news release from the consumer research firm Intersperience.
Some participants tried a one-day Internet deprivation challenge — and one said it was “like having my hand chopped off.”
Mere dramatics or legitimate withdrawal? It’s hard to tell to what extent Internet addiction is a problem, researchers have said, because few studies have been done on the topic — at least, few high-quality studies that can be compared against each other to find trends, according to an analysis in May.
It doesn’t take a randomized controlled study to know that the alluring sound of an incoming text message can be hard to resist.