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Unplugging from Internet makes people feel lonely, upset--at least, for many

July 25, 2011|By Marissa Cevallos, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
  • About half of the people polled in the United Kingdom said they'd feel upset if deprived of an Internet connection for a day -- but a large minority said the experience would be freeing.
About half of the people polled in the United Kingdom said they'd feel… (Los Angeles Times )

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.

Not by everyone, though. In the recent poll, 23% said the prospect of a day without the Internet made them feel “free.”

A thought to meditate on, perhaps.

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