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US Students Suffering From Internet Addiction 307

Posted by kdawson
from the crackberry-is-no-joke dept.
goG sends in a piece from IBTimes on the latest study to confirm what is becoming pretty obvious. The article mentions the Internet addiction rehab center we discussed last year. "American college students are hooked on cellphones, social media and the Internet and showing symptoms similar to drug and alcohol addictions, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Maryland who asked 200 students to give up all media for one full day found that after 24 hours many showed signs of withdrawal, craving and anxiety along with an inability to function well without their media and social links. ... 'Texting and IM-ing my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort,' wrote one of the students, who blogged about their reactions. 'When I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life.'"
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US Students Suffering From Internet Addiction

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  • Irony (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Avin22 (1438931) on Monday April 26, 2010 @07:55PM (#31991922)
    'Texting and IM-ing my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort,' wrote one of the students, who blogged about their reactions. 'When I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life.' I just thought it was a bit ironic to blog about one's Internet addiction
    • Re:Irony (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2010 @08:03PM (#31992058)

      Irony is when a situation is the opposite of what you might expect. It's expected that an internet-addicted person might blog about their addiction.

      • Re:Irony (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ph0rk (118461) on Monday April 26, 2010 @09:59PM (#31993410)
        Irony can also mean:
        Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs. An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity.

        We might expect someone that recognizes a debilitating condition to take steps to curtail that condition.
        Sort of like someone inviting you out for a beer to tell you that they're an alcoholic.

        The irony is they haven't realized the extent of their dependence at all.
    • I just thought it was a bit ironic to blog about one's Internet addiction

      If only there was a way to inform those college students about this study without using the internet, IM's, texting or other smart phone technologies. Hmmm ... nope, can't think of a thing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Psyborgue (699890)
      What if it was written like this: "'Talking and hanging out with my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort,' wrote one of the students, who blogged about their reactions. 'When I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life.'" Could it be a natural feeling of loneliness rather than addiction that is the problem.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by haruharaharu (443975)
      Wow, isolate someone from their friends and they feel alone - paging Dr. Romero.
  • Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Korey Kaczor (1345661) on Monday April 26, 2010 @07:56PM (#31991926)

    People today are broken and oversocialized, and more importantly, too careful. The anonymity of the internet coupled with its ability to let people "construct" their image of self that others perceive; take that away, and people are afraid of communicating with others.

    Of course, not with close friends, but you can look at how people in a bus or a subway will stare at the floor and try their best not to make eye contact.

    • Re:Of course (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Monday April 26, 2010 @08:24PM (#31992370) Homepage Journal

      Of course, not with close friends, but you can look at how people in a bus or a subway will stare at the floor and try their best not to make eye contact.

      Did it occur to you that some of us don't enjoy small talk because we're sick of the shallow bite-size noise-ridden internet methods of communication?

      People think I'm weird because I don't have a MySpace or Facebook.

      • I don't have a MySpace or Facebook.

        I tried to get a MySpace and a Facebook too. They cost too much though. Hundreds of thousands of servers don't come cheap you know!

    • by Moofie (22272)

      You're right, it's only since the advent of Facebook that people tended to not talk to every single random stranger they encounter. What a shocking turn of events.

    • by glwtta (532858)
      Of course, not with close friends, but you can look at how people in a bus or a subway will stare at the floor and try their best not to make eye contact.

      Depending on where you live, they may just not want to get stabbed.
    • by RobinEggs (1453925) on Monday April 26, 2010 @11:46PM (#31994324)

      People today are broken and oversocialized, and more importantly, too careful...people "construct" their image of self that others perceive

      Too careful? They 'construct' the image others see? Do you read the kind of crap people plaster all over Facebook? The ridiculous, copious honesty of those people is exactly why I don't use social media at all. Between the disgusting, the bizarre, and (this is most of it) the completely boring, there's no frickin end to the completely true, unedited drivel oozing all over these social networking venues. There's a difference between open, honest dialogue and telling everything about everything, and these people by and large passed that line five years ago.

      Too careful couldn't be more wrong; social networkers have become so completely unfiltered the entirety of cyberspace overflows with their useless raw data.

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday April 26, 2010 @07:56PM (#31991934)

    No, the Internet is not addictive. Nor is texting.

    Certain people are obsessive/compulsive.

    • by zill (1690130) on Monday April 26, 2010 @07:59PM (#31991978)
      Says the guy with an UID of 1285.
      • Exactly. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday April 26, 2010 @08:02PM (#31992040)

        How much will it take to addict me?

        How many posts until I have to come back every single day?

        When will I start turning down other activities because I have to get back on /.?

        Right now, dinner with friends seems a LOT more interesting.

        • Right now, dinner with friends seems a LOT more interesting.

          I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter, but I'm afraid it would simply depress me when I find out that there are more people 'out there' than the guy who delivers my pizzas and the other guy who does my lawn.

        • Re:Exactly. (Score:5, Informative)

          by beakerMeep (716990) on Monday April 26, 2010 @08:49PM (#31992670)
          Yet here you are -- here we all are. And interestingly enough you are completely missing the point (or trolling). And perpetuating a stigmatized, misinformed stereotype.

          Addiction does not just relate to substance abuse and chemical reactions from illicit drugs. Addiction is a state described by a set of behaviors and reactions (physical and mental) when faced with the loss of the stimulus. It has nothing to do with how much something will take to addict a particular person. That's fallacy logic.

          ala wikipedia:

          The medical community now makes a careful theoretical distinction between physical dependence (characterized by symptoms of withdrawal) and psychological dependence (or simply addiction). The DSM definition of addiction can be boiled down to compulsive use of a substance (or engagement in an activity) despite ongoing negative consequences—this is also a summary of what used to be called "psychological dependency."

          TFA basically states that they are seeing symptoms characteristic of CHEMICAL dependence too -- which is why this is unusual. If they actually were seeing symptoms of OCD, they would say they saw symptoms of OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a completely different disease that only has partial symptom overlap with addiction. You should maybe consider reading up on it sometime as it probably afflicts someone you know (1 in 200 adults).

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by HungryHobo (1314109)

            Pff.

            I'm also addicted to hanging out with my family, friends and other people: if I don't get to for a long time I start to expereince negative emotions like loneliness.

            I'm addicted to spending time with my girlfriend, when we're apart for a long time I start to miss her terribly.

            For some reason having a psychological need for human company is socially acceptable and not lumped in with addiction.

            By comparison I feel no distress if I'm unable to hang out on message boards and forums like slashdot for an exte

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SerpentMage (13390)

        Hey I never noticed that... Though I completely agree with you. The internet is addictive and compulsive. Yet I ask is that bad? Why in my day that was called... drum roll... telephone! How many teenies would sit hour after hour after hour on the telephone? The only reason why it has become more obvious is because the devices are mobile. Back in the "good ol days" telephones had long cables, but cables none the less.

        • by EdIII (1114411)

          How many teenies would sit hour after hour after hour on the telephone? The only reason why it has become more obvious is because the devices are mobile. Back in the "good ol days" telephones had long cables, but cables none the less.

          Ahhhh, you mean the good ol' days when all a father had to do to find his daughter was grab the phone cord from the wall and follow it....

          If that father wanted to hear his daughter all he had to do was unplug it.......

    • by MoonBuggy (611105)

      Isn't that just semantics? Of course it's not a physical dependency, and as such comparisons to drugs are misplaced, but the term 'addiction' is commonly used to include problems with both physical and psychological causes.

      • by khasim (1285)

        Isn't that just semantics?

        Nope. If a person is obsessive/compulsive, that person WILL become "addicted" to SOMETHING.

        That does not mean that that thing is addictive.

        In order to demonstrate that something is addictive, you'd have to be able to get an otherwise non-addicted person to become addicted to it.

        • Wut? Go and read some psych definitions [allpsych.com]. OCD is not an addictive disorder, it's different. There is some overlap, but that's SOP for psych stuff. It's not black and white.
      • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

        Isn't that just semantics? Of course it's not a physical dependency, and as such comparisons to drugs are misplaced, but the term 'addiction' is commonly used to include problems with both physical and psychological causes.

        No. Obsessive / compulsive personalities can become focused on various activities. Would you then start calling washing your hands "addictive"?

    • Cocaine is not addictive, its just that certain people become addicted to cocaine because they are prone to addiction?

      Nope.

      I suspect that wilderness courses will become more and more popular as people learn that constant social interaction leaves them with no time to think, to read books or to enjoy their own company.

      I suspect that the massive growth of Internet narcissism through social media is going to produce people who show clear symptoms of psychological distress and incipient mental disturba
      • I suspect that wilderness courses will become more and more popular as people learn that constant social interaction leaves them with no time to think, to read books or to enjoy their own company.
        I suspect that the massive growth of Internet narcissism through social media is going to produce people who show clear symptoms of psychological distress and incipient mental disturbance.

        The whole "people losing touch with nature" was said 150 years ago with industrial urbanization. Generally people adapt and acc

        • by Khyber (864651)

          More like the Dark Ages rather than 150 years ago. We had so many things that were 'invented' well before then, like damned good concrete made from volcanic ash, steam turbines (though they had no clue what to do with it when it was invented around 100AD.)

          We could have had the Industrial Revolution in maybe 600 or 700AD if it were not for the Dark Ages.

          Then we'd have probably been in other solar systems by now. No need for the terrestrial outdoors when there's space to conquer!

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        I know people that smoke when they drink. If they don't drink, they don't smoke. When they drink, they may or may not smoke. But they don't get addicted. So, does that mean that cigarettes aren't addictive? Or does it mean that addiction affects everyone differently?
    • by Kitkoan (1719118)

      No, the Internet is not addictive. Nor is texting.

      Certain people are obsessive/compulsive.

      Why can't it be addictive? The internet is about instant gratification which helps keep you on a dopamine high. The problem with a constant dopamine high is that when the source is removed (in this case the internet) your body goes into a with drawl. So suddenly you go into a with drawl of a dopamine source which leaves you craving for it, regardless the fact that nothing in introduced into your system on a physical level. It's one of the aspects that was shown from Pavlov's Dog experiments. [nobelprize.org] Pavlov got his

      • Look, by this definition people are addicted to their family, their spouse/girlfriend, and an infinite number of things. Are you addicted to electricity? Would you not feel as happy if you had to live without air conditioning in 100 degree weather? Should we all live like cavemen because we are 'addicted' to various conveniences? The internet is simply one of those conveniences.
        • by AK Marc (707885)
          When people are addicted to their family, they call it "codependent" or "dysfunctional" or such. And people aren't addicted to electricity. They don't click their lights on and off to generate dopamine from it. But some do get it from some flash game or hitting refresh on Slashdot.

          There's a difference between "desired" and "addicted to" and you seem to be purposefully confusing the two to discredit one.
    • by Zerth (26112)

      Yah, and they aren't suffering from it. They rather enjoy it!

      Well, at least until the meds kick in.

  • Inability (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kell Bengal (711123) on Monday April 26, 2010 @07:56PM (#31991940)
    Inability to function without social links? You take anyone's friends away and they'll get lonely and anxious. For a lot of students, the internet is the only link to old friends and family that they have. Of course they're going to react badly to being isolated.
  • I don't buy this (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blhack (921171) on Monday April 26, 2010 @07:59PM (#31991986)

    I thought for a while that I was "addicted" to the internet. I post to blogs a lot, check my twitter like crazy, check the websites I run like crazy etc. etc.

    Then I moved to a new house. Rarely if ever do I even power my computer on while I'm at home now. I'd rather be reading or playing with the dog or riding my bicycle.

    It turns out I was just bored.

    I think kids have set their standards too high. The internet allows the entire world to compete for their attention. Give them something more interesting to obsess over and they will.

    In other words, kids are no more "addicted" to the internet than they were at one point addicted to fishing, or basketball, or any other hobbie that kids have ever had.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by SerpentMage (13390)

      I have found it very interesting in how people would play fishing, basketball, and other sports on video game consoles, but not yet think "hey maybe I should do this in real life..."

      • by blhack (921171)

        I have found it very interesting in how people would play fishing, basketball, and other sports on video game consoles, but not yet think "hey maybe I should do this in real life..."

        It's about availability and time-investment. My time-investment to play some flash-based fishing game (or dolphin olympics, goddamn you dolphin olympics) is about 5 minutes. My time-investment in fishing or basketball is several hours, plus the frightening reality that I might not be very good at it.

        You can impulse-participate in a video game, doing the same thing in real-life requires more commitment.

      • It also costs more money to do these things in real life. I went fishing for salmon a few weeks ago: $70 for a boat ticket, $20 for rod rental, and $14 for a one-day fishing license. I didn't even catch any salmon that day!

      • I have found it very interesting in how people would play fishing, basketball, and other sports on video game consoles, but not yet think "hey maybe I should do this in real life..."

        Yeah, it amazes me people are that way about gang wars, Bug hunting, and abusing prostitutes. They just don't know what their missing!!!!

    • Re:I don't buy this (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sarten-X (1102295) on Monday April 26, 2010 @08:18PM (#31992294) Homepage

      It's a habit. No more and no less. There's obviously nothing chemical causing the "addiction", and this study is useless to profile whether someone follows the normal trend for psychological dependence.

      Dropping anything normal for 24 hours is weird. I had a friend in high school (one of them cross-country folks) who would run a few miles each morning before school. One day he didn't, and there was a marked difference in his personality until he ran home (a distance of 5 miles) afterwards. He seemed mentally slower to respond than normal, yet craved physical activity. Was he "addicted" to running?

      I think it's more likely that when habits are interrupted, it's just discomforting. Replace the Internet connection with something else (like a trip to an amusement park, sans cell phone), and you'll find that these "signs" disappear.

      I'm sure it's possible to become addicted to everything, including the services the Internet provides. The human mind is a crazy thing. I sincerely doubt it happens anywhere near often enough to be concerned about. These rehab centers are just exploiting fears.

    • by blhack (921171)

      I apologize for the self-reply (no editing on slashdot, thank taco), but I should clarify.

      My move to a new house ended my internet "addiction" because I moved from a suburban housing complex (a "master planned community") to an urban center with things that are within walking/biking distance (Tempe, AZ).

      To be honest, my former town is exactly the type of situation that fosters the types of behaviours most of its residents claimed to hate. There was nothing in the town to do (other than grocery shop); it ha

    • Boredom (Score:2, Informative)

      Boredom is probably another reason why kids are getting fat: when they're bored or blue, they get the munchies.

      Where's School House Rock these days!

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      In other words, kids are no more "addicted" to the internet than they were at one point addicted to fishing, or basketball, or any other hobbie that kids have ever had.

      That may be so, but the internet is an always-available activity. With basketball and fishing, you generally have to quit when the sun goes down.

      The closest analog here is/was the TV, and it was the great boogeyman from the 1970s to 1990s, being blamed by people for wasting their kid's time. All this comes down to is schoolwork/productivity

    • ...addicted to fishing, or basketball

      Yes, I am the victim of a Basketball Jones
      Ever since I was a little baby, I always be dribblin'
      In fac', I was de baddest dribbler in the whole neighborhood
      Then one day, my mama bought me a basketball
      And I loved that basketball
      I took that basketball with me everywhere I went
      That basketball was like a basketball to me

  • Breaking News! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by w4f7z (837544) on Monday April 26, 2010 @08:00PM (#31991996)
    People become sad, annoyed, when not allowed to communicate with their friends. The only thing that has changed here is the mechanism of the communication.
    • The conclusion isn't that people are addicted to the internet.

      The conclusion is that technologically-aided communication has replaced more traditional forms of communication for many young people, and if you remove their preferred method of communication, they are not able to fall back on other methods of communication, at least not in the short term.

      Other things that might make me sad and annoyed:

      - Having to watch TV without a DVR
      - Having to walk to places I would normally drive to
      - Having to answer the ph

  • by stavrica (701765)

    Merchants, immersed in the bustling commerce of Rome, who suddenly found themselves shipwrecked along with a handful of other sailors on some island in the Mediterranean would likely have, "showed signs of withdrawal, craving and anxiety along with an inability to function well without their " ...familiar environment around which their lives had come to revolve.

  • by vivin (671928) <vivin DOT paliath AT gmail DOT com> on Monday April 26, 2010 @08:04PM (#31992072) Homepage Journal

    I would say that it's only an addiction if it's actively interfering with your normal life. That is, your job, your education, your family, and your interpersonal relationships.

    I don't use IM'ing and texting as much as I used to (in college) but I still use it. I don't think you can really call these addictions. These are just different forms of communication. I just think they might be overreacting a bit. For example, the comment from one of the students about being secluded... one would feel the same way if they were told not to talk to anyone.

    Now if they were whining that they couldn't chat when they were hanging out with their friends... that might be a problem. I think chatting and texting augments social interaction. The problem is when it turns into a substitute. So I'm not saying that internet/text/chatting addiction doesn't exist -- we just have to be careful about defining what internet addiction really is.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by RsG (809189)

      I would say that it's only an addiction if it's actively interfering with your normal life. That is, your job, your education, your family, and your interpersonal relationships.

      Doesn't really work as a definition for "addicted". To provide a counter example, there are "high-functioning" alcoholics - just as fucked up as regular alkies, but able to hold it together enough to keep a job, maintain relationships (albeit often dysfunctional ones), etc. Often the shit hits the fan for them eventually, though this isn't guaranteed.

      A better defining question for addiction is: can you quit? The oft-modified joke "I can quit anytime I want, honest" has a grounding in reality. An addict

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by russotto (537200)

        Doesn't really work as a definition for "addicted". To provide a counter example, there are "high-functioning" alcoholics - just as fucked up as regular alkies, but able to hold it together enough to keep a job, maintain relationships (albeit often dysfunctional ones), etc. Often the shit hits the fan for them eventually, though this isn't guaranteed.

        It doesn't really work because "addicted" in the sense of the article is really only being used pejoratively. If you stretch the definition enough you can s

        • by RsG (809189)

          The difference between a user and an addict is, when you take their whatever away, the user is okay, and the addict is not.

          Not good enough. The user of anything presumably derives a benefit from using it; that's why they use it. Take that away and of course they're not as well off, and will seek substitutes. If that's addiction, the term is too broad to be of any use.

          Actually, the point is more in the sense of substance abuse, rather than the "addictions" listed in TFA. To reiterate, take a hard drinker's booze away for a month, and he's okay (perhaps a bit ornery, but otherwise fine). Take an alkies booze away for a month, and he will suffer a breakdown, complete with DTs. Not a bad way to tell the two apart.

          Note the distinction here between inconvenience and withdrawal. The hard drinker will be inconvenienced by the lack of booze, which we're presuming he enjoys,

          • by AaxelB (1034884)
            That was an excellent post.

            ...that's pretty much all I have to say. Pity I don't have mod points.
    • > I would say that it's only an addiction if it's actively interfering with your normal life. That is, your job, your education, your family, and your interpersonal relationships.

      Probably because you don't have an agenda geared toward making alarmist figures and saying "we have to do something, think of the children.

  • by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Monday April 26, 2010 @08:05PM (#31992088)

    I think people are generally social. If you took away some other thing you were used to (like your bus ride to work, car, tv set, news paper, friends etc) would it be normal to feel alone and secluded?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Virak (897071)

      Exactly. This study isn't about "Internet addiction", it's about what happens when you cut people off from the vast majority of their social contact. In a shocking result, it doesn't go over well for most of them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Omnifarious (11933) *

      That was my thought on reading this. Try taking a baby boomer's TV, radio, newspaper and telephone away. I bet they'd feel alone and secluded in their lives as well, and feel a sense of anxiety over their loss.

      • by Imrik (148191)

        The article kind of glosses over it, but they took those away too.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Trepidity (597)

          Which makes it even less believable as an "internet addiction" study, and more like, "if you cut people off from the world, they feel cut off from the world".

          Next up: old people addicted to bingo night.

  • Thanks to technology, we are linked together. We are able to communicate with each others wherever we are. We have access to an incredible amount of knowledge through the Internet and this can now be done through cellphones, blackberries, etc.

    Now, imagine a generation continuously linked to this hive-mind. Imagine disconnecting them one by one. Imagine how powerless and lost they would become.

  • Bullshit (Score:4, Funny)

    by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday April 26, 2010 @08:07PM (#31992122)

    I've been using the internet for years and I ain't hooked yet. *clicks refresh repeatedly*

  • Apparently these researchers never interviewed your average /. user.

    But on a serious note, this is about self-control. The internet does not promote it. The internet makes it easy to access data instantly, and people get used to this 'instant-gratification' that the online world provides. Then when they hop out of their second-life into their first-life, they find themselves bored, for they can't keep that continual flow of information coupled with interaction going.

    It is physiological really. Along th
  • by laughingcoyote (762272) <.moc.eticxe. .ta. .lwohtsehgrab.> on Monday April 26, 2010 @08:16PM (#31992254) Journal

    'Texting and IM-ing my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort,' wrote one of the students, who blogged about their reactions. 'When I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life.'"

    An amazing discovery! Most people like to interact socially with other people, are comforted by being able to talk to people they know and trust, and feel alone and secluded when they do not! I can't believe research hasn't figured that out yet, who would've ever guessed?

    Social interaction with one's friends is still interaction. Technology may make it easier, but that's always been true. Before we had the Internet, people would use telephones to talk, or to plan face to face meetings (and probably use their cars to get to said meetings). The presence of technology in a social interaction doesn't make it any less of one, nor does that mean it's "addictive"-well, any more than any other form anyway, by and large, we're pretty social creatures.

    That's even before you get to the fact that removing just about anything familiar from someone's environment will, to some degree, make them anxious. For some people, even getting a new home can be very stressful-you have to learn new ways around, find the places near you that you'll be going frequently and remember the way there, get used to the new layout for going to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and all those other little things we take for granted. This isn't exactly groundbreaking research, and it sure in the hell doesn't demonstrate an "addiction".

    • You're right of course, but what this research really demonstrates is that many US students appear to suffer from a total inability to cope with solitude. Needing to have constant contact, physical or virtual, with other people is no healthier, more productive, or more moral than needing to live entirely apart from others at all times.

      • As far as nature is concerned, humans aren't meant to cope with solitude - we evolved from social animals.

        The rest of it is culture - and at that point the "normal" amount of human interaction, as well as the one that you "should be able to cope with", is defined purely by societal norms and upbringing. This stuff changes - and it does so more rapidly as structure of the society itself morphs - and this goes faster and faster with every year.

  • by lordlod (458156) on Monday April 26, 2010 @08:18PM (#31992296)

    People addicted to telephone's are showing increasing signs of not coping well without them. A receptionist said, "My whole day revolves around the telephone, I don't know what I'd do without one."

    This addiction isn't just limited to the classic call center stereotype. Formally normal people like businessmen have gone to extraordinary lengths to satisfy their cravings, "I have a phone I carry everywhere with me, I just find it so hard to be out of touch with the office. I even have the car wired so that I can talk while driving between meetings."

    A guy who provides alarmist quotes for a living told me, "This telephone craze is destroying the very fabric of society, it's a completely abnormal form of communication. People have no idea of your facial expression is or how your gesticulating with your hands. Eventually we will all evolve to just talking with our hands in our pockets, then how will you know who the Italians are!"

    It's vital that we develop treatement plans to assist people in transitioning to a phone free lifestyle, fortunately some profiteering fearmongers have stepped up to the plate. Initial treatement involves lying in a hospital bed with the comfort of the occasional ringing phone in the nurses station, eventually patients progress to walks in a phone free park. The problem is so bad and phones so addicting however that family and friends are smuggling specially designed "mobile" phones into patients, despite clear signs preventing phone use in the area.

  • I just don't choose to do so, and haven't for past 64+ days. http://slashdot.org/~vrmlguy/achievements [slashdot.org]

  • Take a toddler's "binky" (their security blanket) away from a toddler and they're the same way. They teenagers need their instant communication, their updates, twitters, facebook entries etc etc etc. No different than my 2yr old sleeping with her stuffed animals.

    Sure some kids survive fine when you tell them they are too old to have "a binky" but eventually, after a few tantrums, they survive. However, expect quite a bit of crying.

  • Suffering? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zach_the_lizard (1317619) on Monday April 26, 2010 @08:33PM (#31992504)
    Suffer from internet addiction? No! I *enjoy* it, and you'll take my shiny inter-tubes away from me only when you pry them from my cold, dead, cheeto-dust covered fingers!
  • Whats new? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Study shows breaking from routine and habits to be psychologically challenging.
    More news at 11.

  • Anything that makes you feel good can be addictive.

  • by ignavus (213578) on Monday April 26, 2010 @09:01PM (#31992792)

    I can go cold turkey fine.

    Just give me a six-pack or two and I can drink my way through any Internet withdrawal.

  • Posting from one of my grad classes right now and I think this study is a load of crap!
  • When I can, I turn my cell phone off and enjoy the peace and solitude. Maybe it's because I was raised without internet (80s and 90s rural Alabama.)
    • by ph0rk (118461)
      I keep my phone quiet by being a raging asshole to everyone I meet.

      Keeps the number of texts down.
  • The type of connection is virtually irrelevant. We are social creatures. We need each other or at least a sense of belonging. (In reality, all connections between people are imaginary... if we lived in a world like "Pandora" from "Avatar" there might be true connections between beings, but all we really have are emotions and similarities.)

    Being connected to something bigger makes us all feel bigger. This is why gangs exist. This is why clubs, churches and nations exist. This is why we have racism in o

  • spending time on the internet make me feel isolated and lonely ... although spending time around other people also makes me feel isolated and lonely so maybe I shouldn't read too much into that.
  • 'Texting and IM-ing my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort,' wrote one of the students, who blogged about their reactions. 'When I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life.'"

    GO TO A BAR, BITCH! Then you can actually BE with your friends and having a better time than being separated by a couple of fucking electronic devices!

    Seriously, people should be required to obtain a license to operate anything more complex than a calculator.

    • GO TO A BAR, BITCH! Then you can actually BE with your friends

      Have you considered the fact that, maybe, her IM friends are not even on the same continent?

  • I first went to college in '93, before wide-spread cell phone usage and internet for the most part (my dad wouldn't spring for Compuserve or AOL). My room had a phone that we paid for with a university card, unless you were canny enough to figure out how to use someone else's card to get free calls (perhaps someone who had dropped out and not canx'd it...) I had my dad's old 8088 with a 5" monochrome CRT and a 9-pin dot-matrix for banging out papers in my dorm room, and iir the best systems were pc towers t
  • This isn't addiction, any more than watching too much TV is addiction. I've been using the Internet daily for decades but can (and do) walk away from it, completely, for vacations etc., without any difficulty. It's actually nice to get away. Calling something an "addiction" takes away personal responsibility. That's appropriate for truly addictive substances (when you're chemically dependent) but not for sitting on your ass in front of a computer.
  • by DynaSoar (714234) on Monday April 26, 2010 @10:36PM (#31993754) Journal

    The "study" (by a journalism professor?) is so fatally flawed that I'm keeping this for as test question for my methodology students.

    The discomfort is cognitive dissonance, and it happens whenever someone's expectations are violated, in this case a change in accustom routine. That makes this 'new' study firmly in with the other work that have supported Festinger's theory since he wrote it in 1958.

    The same people who brought you video game addiction, pinball addiction And such are behind this bogus definition. They're the same ones who stand to make money treating the 'problem'.

    WTF is IBTimes and why is someone dragging bad science out of it to post here? Only to skewer it, I hope, because that's about all that's going to happen.

  • by Judinous (1093945) on Monday April 26, 2010 @10:49PM (#31993870)
    In other news, Homo sapiens is discovered to be a social animal which suffers from adverse psychological effects when their primary method of communicating with their peers is removed. News at 11.

Put your Nose to the Grindstone! -- Amalgamated Plastic Surgeons and Toolmakers, Ltd.

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