Do you spend more time than you need to on Facebook, Twitter, Google and any other of the two billion websites floating around the Internet? You may be suffering from a condition scientists are calling Information Deprivation Disorder.
In a global study called Unplugged, volunteers at 12 universities around the globe were asked to keep detailed logs while spending 24 hours in a tech and information blackout, without cell phones, computers, iPods, and other media.
People reported feeling fidgety. Silence was strange and uncomfortable. Participants kept looking for the phones, even though they weren’t carrying them. Students likened the experience to going on a diet, giving up smoking and going cold turkey. The word “addiction” kept recurring.
However, Bournemouth University researcher Dr. Gerodimos told the Telegraph: “As they got used to it they began to notice more things around them like birds singing or hearing what their neighbours were doing.”
Signs You’re Addicted to Your iPhone or Blackberry
Are you addicted to the Internet? Your iPhone? Blackberry? Take a quick test by reviewing the following points. If you’re reading this on your phone, just skip down to the diagnosis.
1. The magazine rack in the bathroom has become obsolete.
2. You’ve developed the ability to read e-mails unbeknownst to others at the dinner table.
3. Your friends get concerned if they don’t get an e-mail response from you within 30 seconds.
4. You’ve experienced deeply religious “Thank God” moments after finding your iPhone or Blackberry in your other pocket.
5. Humans have become annoying things that disrupt quality time with your iPhone or Blackberry.
Diagnosis: If you can relate to at least three out of the five points above, you might need to seek professional help. The good news is reSTART offers a retreat center on-site stabilization and detox program, where you stay 45 days in a “safe, natural family setting designed to feel like ‘home’.” The cost: $14,500 US, plus additional fees.
That could sure buy a lot of gadgets, including the new smaller and thinner iPad, which will be released later this year, complete with a camera. Maybe Steve Jobs will approve an app that lets you hook it directly to your veins.