My beloved cellphone was stolen recently’it was my camera, my alarm clock and a connection to friends, family and the rest of the world. I have to admit, I definitely feel more than a little lost without it. And according to British researchers, my feelings of panic at being without my smartphone may classify me as "digitally dependent."
Relieved to again have web access after a connectionless evening and commute to work this morning, I came across an interesting article on the Huffington Post about a study suggesting the Internet may be as addicting as cigarettes and alcohol.
The study, conducted by the consumer behaviour research company Intersperience, surveyed 1,000 people between the ages of 18 and 65 about their Internet usage. And the results seem to point in the direction of a digitally-addicted population: 53 percent of those surveyed reported feeling upset without an Internet connection, and 40 percent experienced feelings of loneliness at not being able to connect online. The feedback from participants compared a day without technology to "having my hand chopped off," and "my biggest nightmare."
While backpacking a couple of summers ago, I took my smartphone with me and used the Internet at times I considered to be personal emergencies’racking up a hefty phone bill upon my return. Being in a foreign country, it was comforting to know I still had wireless access.
Based on the results of this study, it seems I’m not alone in my Internet addiction, but could it be a health issue?
Do you feel anxious or sad when you’re without your phone or laptop, and how long could you really go without Internet?