Research carried out by the University of Maryland has found that subjects who were denied access to any form of media i.e mobile phone, iPod or televisions were left in a similar state to individuals battling against drug addiction, with feelings of dependency and depression.
The thought of a washed-up celebrity huddled in a urine-soaked doorway slapping his pocket imploring ‘I just need one more tweet, just one more, and then I’m giving up!’ may actually seem fairly amusing to some, but the researchers who carried out the experiment have also likened the effects to phantom-limb syndrome, a condition where recent amputees experience feelings of discomfort in their missing limbs.
The ‘World Unplugged’ study instructed 1000 people to go without any form of media for just 24 hours, meaning no access to the chirrups, chimes and vibrations of your mobile phone, no glut of neon nonsense from the TV, and no chug and bang from an MP3 player (is it me or does this sound like heaven on earth?)
The study threw up some worrying results, with some subjects reporting that they experienced phantom vibrations in their pocket, as if their phone was receiving a message. What an extraordinarily odd phenomenon, countless people desperately rely and depend on their car for example, but I would hazard a guess that they don’t experience feelings of bay parking when their vehicle is in for a service.
With phone trade in and mobile phone recycling producing a constant stream of new mobiles to get our paws on, this trend of over dependency on social media’s and modern technology looks set to deepen. We just might be producing a generation of youngsters who are addicted to the virtual world, we’ll have to wean them off Twitter and back on to heroin.