Going without the Internet and other modern technologies, even for a short amount of time, can be as harrowing as giving up smoking or drinking, a new study suggests.
A new report from British consumer research firm Intersperience found that over half of people felt “upset” when asked to not use any technology for 24 hours and 40 percent felt “lonely” when not engaging in activities such as social networking, emails, texting or watching their favorite TV channels.
Intersperience asked more than 1,000 British adults ages 18 to over 65 about their digital lives and restricted participants to get through a full day without using technology.
One participant described the challenge “like having my hand chopped off,” while another called it “my biggest nightmare.”
A significant number of people ‘”cheated” by switching on the television or radio, saying they did not regard them as ‘”technology.” Others agreed to the challenge but turned their mobile phones to silent, alleging that being completely disconnected even for one day is “inconceivable.”
Younger people – who tend to be heavier users of social media and text messaging – said they had the most difficulty giving up technology, while older people (over the age of 40) generally coped more easily.
Only a minority of those surveyed reacted positively to the prospect of being without an Internet connection, with 23 percent saying they would feel “free.”