Has The Internet Become As Addictive As Drugs, Alcohol & Smoking?
An hour? Two hours? A day? A couple of days? A week? A month? If you really sit down and think about it and are completely honest with yourself, you’d probably find that you couldn’t go very long at all without the Internet. It’s so necessary in today’s world that just about everything that you do on a regular basis revolves around your use of the World Wide Web. From your computer to your smart phone, you’re constantly connected—and, for the most part, that’s a good thing. The Internet has obviously changed the way the world works and made it possible for you to stay connected to the world like never before.
However, would you say that you’re addicted to the Internet? Probably not, right? But the truth is that, unless you’re a part of the minority, you probably are. In fact, a recent study done in the UK has found that many people are starting to find that trying to give up the Internet is like trying to give up a range of other addictions like smoking and drinking. Psychologically, we’re starting to become programmed to need the Internet.
According to the UK’s Daily Mail, the experiment behind the study—which was dubbed “Unplugged”—asked 1000 people to give up Internet access for 24 hours. Afterward, it found that 53 percent of people reported that they felt upset when they were denied to the Internet, and 40 percent of people actually described feeling lonely when they were unable to go online. One person said it was “like having my hand chopped off” and others said that giving up online access was as bad as quitting drinking or smoking.
So, we have to ask: Has it really gotten that bad? Have we all fallen so deeply in love with technology that we can’t live without it? Would you be able to live with the Internet for a few days if you had to?
I’d encourage everyone out there to conduct their own experiment on their own time to see just how addicted they are to the Internet. Give up your use of the Internet for just one day and see how you feel. Don’t check your email, stay off your Facebook page, and put down your smart phone unless you’re talking on it. And then take some time thinking about how you feel and how the lack of online access affects your life.
You might be surprised at what you find. And once you know exactly how the ‘net affects you, you’ll be able to adjust your lifestyle accordingly to make sure your life doesn’t revolve around the Web. Because while there’s no denying that the Internet has changed the way we do things, we shouldn’t be so reliant on it that it affects us when we don’t have it.
So, sign off and see how long you can do without the Internet. If the UK study is any indication, we’re pretty sure you’re not going to be able to make it very long.