The scientists asked volunteers to stay away from all emails, text messages, Facebook and Twitter updates for 24 hours. They found that the participants began to develop symptoms typically seen in smokers attempting to give up.
Some of those taking part said they felt like they were undergoing “cold turkey” to break a hard drug habit, while others said it felt like going on a diet. The condition is now being described as Information Deprivation Disorder.
“Participants described feeling fidgety and kept reaching for their mobile phones even when they weren’t there.
“There were also some good effects as people developed coping mechanisms they went out for walks and visited friends rather than sitting in front of a computer.
“What was amazing for us was how dependent people now are on their technology. People often don’t own watches or alarm clocks because they rely upon their mobile phones to wake themselves up.”
While most participants in the study struggled without their mobile phones and felt they were missing out by not using Facebook, it was abstinence from music that caused them the most difficulty, Dr Gerodimos said.
We’ve now been called the net generation, Facebook generation, tech generation, multi-tasking generation, boomerang generation, impatient generation, post-ideological generation, the Me generation, and any number of new ones to crop up in 2011. Before any one term sticks, what will continue is the concentration on the “excessive use” of the internet, computer games and social networking sites which seem to frighten the traditional, socially stagnant older generation.
The advent of the internet and progression in computer technology in the last 20 years has allowed society to grow exponentially beyond all expectation. Massive new industries, jobs, and functions have been innovated in such a short time that their inventions outpace number of users and consumers in the market. When the old, decaying economic models of the 19th and 20th centuries finally collapse, it will be technological advancement of the computer and electronic industry which shall fill the void.
Be afraid, old industry, very afraid.