“Internet and media addiction is not officially a psychiatric disorder, but many college students still seem to be suffering from it. In a recent study, students who were asked to give up their media connections experienced withdrawal symptoms similar to those seen in drug and alcohol addicts, including cravings, anxieties, and preoccupation to the point of being unable to function well.” –Ars Technica
Apparently the students were asked to give up all media for 24 hours. This meant no social media of any kind (text messaging, mobile media, phones, Facebook, Myspace etc). Some of the students said that they felt they had been severed completely from their family and friends. Hard to believe that just fifteen years ago the extent of “social media” was chat rooms on AOL, dial up and ICQ. “IMing” had just entered the public vernacular and dial-up internet was the norm.
Many of the kids experienced cravings and anxiety because of their tech black out. They mentioned texting and IM-ing giving them “a constant feeling of comfort.” One guy said that the suspension of social media made him feel “alone and secluded” from his own life.
Other interesting things to note are that they watch very little, if any television, do not read newspapers and have problems differentiating between news and general information (which to me sounds like about 70% of all Twitter, Facebook and Myspace users. No, I don’t care that your dog just barked out the window, and no, I don’t need to know that your baby just pooped.)