Youngsters suffer smartphone ‘withdrawal’
Research has shown that many young people feel worried and distressed when separated from their mobile phones.
The study has claimed that the usual tantrum that ensues if you take away their computer or mobile phone is comparable to a drug addict going ‘cold turkey’.
Research has shown that just one day without media access left 79 per cent of students reporting adverse reactions ranging from distress to confusion and isolation.
The study, which focused 17 to 23 year olds, in ten countries, including the UK, where about 150 students at Bournemouth University spent 24 hours banned from using phones, social networking sites, the internet and TV. They were allowed to use landline phones or read books and were asked to keep a diary.
Further symptoms reported included one in five feeling withdrawal akin to an addiction, with 11 per cent reported feeling confused.
Only the ver small minority of 21 pr cent reported feeling the benefits from being unplugged.
One British participant reported: ‘I am an addict. I don’t need alcohol, cocaine or any other derailing form of social depravity… Media is my drug; without it I was lost.’
Another wrote: ‘I literally didn’t know what to do with myself. Going down to the kitchen to pointlessly look in the cupboards became regular routine, as did getting a drink.’
A third said: ‘I became bulimic with my media; I starved myself for a full 15 hours and then had a full-on binge.’
Susan Moeller. lead researcher of the University of Maryland study, said: ‘Technology provides the social network for young people today and they have spent their entire lives being “plugged in”.
‘Some said they wanted to go without technology for a while but they could not as they could be ostracised by their friends.’
Claiming that technology ‘absolutely’ changed relationships, Professor Moeller added: ‘When the students did not have their mobile phones and other gadgets, they did report that they did get into more in-depth conversations.
‘Quite a number reported quite a difference in conversation in terms of quality and depth as a result.’