Study: Tech Causes Addiction Similar To Drugs

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Study: Tech Causes Addiction Similar To Drugs

Could you give up technology for a day? According to new research, for many, doing so causes similar withdrawals to those seen in drug addiction.

Could you give up technology for a day? According to new research, for many, doing so causes similar withdrawals to those seen in drug addiction.

Many know that certain drugs, like cannabis and MDMA, rarely cause dependence or addiction, and can be enjoyed responsibly by the vast majority of the population. However, there are some pretty nasty, hard drugs out there that no one should touch, and can be incredibly addictive, even just after a small amount. Heck, there are everyday drugs out there, like nicotine and caffeine, which can cause severe addiction, and burden users with the withdrawals that go with them. Well, according to new research, technology is the latest “drug,” with technology withdrawals being very similar to drug cravings.

GIVE UP YOUR TECH FOR A DAY? APPARENTLY IT IS HARDER THAN IT SEEMS

Researchers from the University of Maryland, USA, asked students from across the globe to give up all their tech for a day, and write how they felt about – including emotional and physical responses. Participants were allowed to use a landline phone and read books, as these do not count as tech. The participants were gathered from 10 countries, including the US, UK, and China. It was found that out of the 1000 participants, the vast majority simply couldn’t voluntarily do it.

Only 21 percent said they felt a benefit from completely unplugging their lives. The many hundreds left all used extremely similar words to describe how they were feeling, writing words like fretful, confused, restless, panicked, lonely, paranoid, jittery, and nervous.

One in five had symptoms so severe, they have been described as akin to serious drug withdrawals.

It is a scary thought, yet technology is ingrained in many of our lives. When it comes to cannabis, scientists generally agree, the chances of developing even a mild dependence is extremely rare, yet the same cannot be said about the phone in your pocket. Perhaps politicians should be looking at the impact of social media, and being connected 24/7, instead of bashing a relatively harmless plant.

Read more: Re-defining Addiction: Is Everything We Know Wrong?