Based on current research, there are a lot of students who suffer from withdrawal symptoms, whenever they are deprived from their digital devices. Just like when people quit smoking “cold turkey”, the person is likely to experience significant and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, and the same is happening for people after their smartphones are taken from them.
This particular research targeted youths from 17-23 years old all over the world. They found out that 79% of these youths who submitted themselves for a total media blackout from mobile phones, computers, television, etc. suffered reactions ranging from distress, to confusion and isolation. They were only allowed to use a land-line, read a book, or keep a diary but found it difficult because they were constantly craving something else.
Most likely, the reason why these youths experienced these symptoms is because they were born, and grew up, in an age of unparalleled interconnectivity. With the convenience of being able to access virtually all the information ever made, instantly, in addition to social networking, many have grown up more online than in real life.
The research argues that is why ‘they’ are not used to having face-to-face interaction, since they have been able to hide behind their profiles on the internet. Most of these youths suffered confusion, feelings of isolation and even the feeling that they are a failure without their digital connection. Some even said that they were “itching like a crackhead”. Also, it is likely that the other reason would be because of peer pressure; they are anxious to be deprived of said media knowing that they will lose or be ignored by some of their friends.
Nevertheless, the research also has a positive side. It revealed that youths who attempted to have one on one conversations realized that face to face conversation affords them a significantly ‘more real’ experience, and offers substantially more depth compared to conversations conducted through social networks or texting.
Good thing they realized that there was a real world rather than just a cyber-world!
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