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January 3, 2011

Scientists claim modern media is physically addictive

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by Darren Allan

There’s one born every minute. Not a sucker, but a study, and the latest one which has been brought to our attention is a report on living without contemporary media such as computers, mobiles and TVs.

Unplugged, as it’s called, was organised by the University of Maryland’s International Centre for Media and the Public Agenda, and Salzburg Academy. It asked students in ten universities worldwide to go 24 hours without any media.

In other words, no computers, mobile phones, email, social networks, none of the trappings which the latest generation of teenagers has grown up with.

The Telegraph reports that the scientists conducting the experiment observed not just psychological withdrawal symptoms, but physical ones. Some participants said they felt like they were experiencing “cold turkey”, not unlike a smoker trying to give up the ciggies.

The newspaper states that this has led to the birth of another new condition: Information Deprivation Disorder. And definitely not Being Bored and Spoilt Disorder.

Dr Gerodimos of Bournemouth University, who headed up the UK arm of the study, noted that only a minority hated the entire experience, however.

He told the Telegraph: “The majority struggled at first, experiencing these [withdrawal] symptoms, before they developed coping mechanisms that helped to distract them.”

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