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Is Social Media As Addictive as Drinking and Smoking?

Brooke Slezak

Sure, we like Facebook and all, and most of us probably check the site a couple times a day. How would you feel if you had to go without it for 24 hours? Do the words ‘nightmare,’ ‘lonely’ or ‘inconceivable’ come to mind? If so, you’re not alone. According to a recent study by research firm Intersperience, 53 percent of respondents feel ‘upset’ when deprived of an Internet connection and 40 percent reported feeling ‘lonely’ when not able to go online. 

This ‘digital dependence’ as the study called it is so hard for some people to break, they even liken it to having to quit smoking or drinking. One survey respondent claimed that 24 hours without technology (Internet, smartphone and gadgets) was “like having my hand chopped off” and another said it was “my biggest nightmare.” Whoa, now that’s a digital dependence. 

The “Digital Selves” project found, unsurprisingly, that the younger demographic had a harder time giving up technology. Some of the participants couldn’t even bring themselves to see the 24-hour challenge through and turned on the TV or radio since they didn’t classify them as technology. Some other participants turned their phones to silent mode because the thought of being completely disconnected for one day was “inconceivable.” 

How would you feel going offline for 24 hours? 




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