You know the feeling you get when you can't get online to check your email or catch up with urgent work deadlines and queries? A new US study has given that feeling a name – disconnect anxiety.
Solutions Research Group claims that 27 per cent of the US population suffers from increased anxiety levels when separated from their mobile phones or the internet, according to a recent study of 5,000 US citizens.
But is this proof of ‘internet addiction’ as some have suggested, or merely the standard human response to being outside of one’s comfort zone?
“It doesn’t ‘prove’ internet addiction in any way,” according to Nottingham Trent University’s professor Mark Griffiths, whose research interests are listed on his site to include addictive behaviours and cyberpsychology.
“It’s a standard human response, a short-term anxiety. It matches our own findings in research that we have been carrying out in the UK for years, so it’s hardly ‘new’,” Griffiths added.
Internet addictive as crack
TechRadar also spoke with our favourite Taoist therapist, Stephen Russell (aka 'The Barefoot Doctor').
He told us: “It’s a brilliantly presented report and clearly formalises what each of can plainly see with our own eyes: a society of increasingly emotionally isolated and poorly functioning people becoming exponentially focused externally in vain for their feelings of security, both in social and professional terms, when in fact, as common wisdom admonishes us, the more we search for security in externals, the more insecure we become and hence the more addicted we become to the technology that facilitates such external connectedness.
“Any yogi, philosopher, or modern day spiritual teacher will tell us, the only place to find this security we crave within is through gaining authentic insight from regular meditation practice and so on. External connectedness is as addictive as crack and just as unsatisfying and dangerous, as the more the user has, the more he needs and the craving never gets satisfied.”
So there you go. Stop staring at the internet into the early hours and step AWAY from the screen at regular intervals. Common sense advice, of course, but worth repeating.
You can see the full results of the recent study at Srgnet.com