Posted by Neelam Goswami on July 26, 2011

These days internet addicts can be seen everywhere, from a park to a restaurant, glued to their laptop, iPad or smartphone, eyes glaring into the screen. This class of web surfers aren't able to keep themselves off the internet

Internet use can be addictive
Believe it or not, but several studies have found that browsing the social networking and search websites like Facebook, Twitter and Google are as addictive as drugs, with many labeling it obsessive, compulsive, and addiction.

Now, the new research by Intersperience supports that giving up the internet is as harder as quitting drugs.

It even suggests that some people feel symptoms similar to quitting drinking or smoking when they have to give up internet access.

In the study, about half of the participants said that they’d feel ‘upset’ if deprived of the internet for a short amount of time.

Study details
For the study, the Intersperience researchers questioned 1,000 participants in the UK who were between 18 to 65-years-old. All the participants were given a lengthy questionnaire, asking them about their 'digital lives' including their attitudes and use of the internet, smartphones and other connected devices.

The survey participants were requested to refrain from any internet use for 24 hours.

Survey findings
The poll results showed that 52 percent of the respondents said they feel ‘upset’ when forced to be away from the Internet for a short time, while 40 percent reported feeling ‘lonely,’ according to a July 22 news release from the consumer research firm Intersperience.

Getting through full day without using technology was considered by some to be as hard as quitting smoking or drinking.

While a participant described quitting the internet use as “like having my hand chopped off,” another called it “My biggest nightmare.”

Paul Hudson, Chief Executive of Intersperience said: “Online and digital technology is increasingly pervasive. Our ‘Digital Selves’ research shows how just dominant a role it now assumes, influencing our friendships, the way we communicate, the fabric of our family life, our work lives, our purchasing habits and our dealings with organisations.”

He added, “We have gathered clear evidence that the UK has fully entered the Digital Age. The resulting stepchange in the way we engage with technology has occurred faster than many of us had anticipated. This has profound implications for society both from a personal and commercial perspective.

"We are about to embark on a new study looking exclusively at digital engagement in Under-18s which we expect to highlight even more radical developments in the behaviour and attitudes of children and teenagers.”

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