Shock: People "Addicted" To Communication, Information, Other Humans, Oxygen

from the i-just-snorted-my-iPad dept

Adam Singer writes in to direct our attention to yet another silly study claiming to highlight the evils of technology and Internet addiction. According to this latest study, Researchers at the University of Maryland asked 200 students to give up all media of any kind for one full day -- and found that after 24 hours "many showed signs of withdrawal, craving and anxiety along with an inability to function well without their media and social links." Researchers say the disconnected test subjects strangely equated being without these connections to "going without friends and family" -- which of course is exactly what they were doing. However, if you look at the press release, researchers appear to base their conclusion that students were "addicted" to media by the very scientific fact that students simply said they were:

"A new study out today from the International Center for Media & the Public Agenda (ICMPA) at the University of Maryland, concludes that most college students are not just unwilling, but functionally unable to be without their media links to the world. "I clearly am addicted and the dependency is sickening," said one person in the study. "I feel like most people these days are in a similar situation, for between having a Blackberry, a laptop, a television, and an iPod, people have become unable to shed their media skin."

Just taking common modern media consumption and communications tools away from users for 24 hours doesn't seem to prove much of anything -- aside from the fact that people have grown used to modern media consumption and consumption tools -- which they'd adapt to living without in time. The American Psychiatric Association does not recognize so-called Internet addiction as a disorder (despite efforts to change this to help sell more "cures"), and real addiction generally involves people with real problems who usually aren't quick to admit they even have an addiction. As we've discussed countless times -- the real problem is that we're annoyingly in love with (but not addicted to) calling everything an addiction. At least when we're not busy getting high off of everything.

 



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    Dark Helmet (profile), Apr 28th, 2010 @ 2:24pm

    Sigh...

    What happened to a plain old cocaine binge? This overuse of the word addiction isn't only silly, it's dangerous in that it delutes the attention we spend to, you know, ACTUAL addictions....

     

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    Reference to a Certain Movie, Apr 28th, 2010 @ 2:58pm

    Picture Shows.

    I do enjoy hilarity. I also enjoy food.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2010 @ 4:16pm

    How to do a modern addiction study:

    1) Take something away from people that they desire
    2) Call their continued desire "addiction" and issue a press release
    3) Profit!

     

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    Colg, Apr 28th, 2010 @ 4:58pm

    how?

    1) Take something away from people that they desire
    2) Call their continued desire "addiction" and issue a press release
    3) Profit!

    Not disagreeing on any particular point, I am just wondering where the Profit comes from. It sounds like a sweet deal and I would love to do a "Study" I just don't know how to turn it in to green.

     

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    Talking Head, Apr 28th, 2010 @ 5:29pm

    Film at Eleven

    New study shows that water is wet.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Apr 28th, 2010 @ 6:03pm

    Next up

    Babies addicted to Mothers, Dr. Skinner announced.

     

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    G Thompson (profile), Apr 28th, 2010 @ 7:03pm

    This reminds me of the study that was commissioned a few years ago by the meat industry.

    They found that 100% of people who ate vegetables (it was really potatoes) before 1890 are now dead.

    So eat meat people.. Veggies will kill ya. It's true, its a fact. ;)


    [Statistics - 87.34% of them are made up on the spot]

     

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    Sos, Apr 28th, 2010 @ 8:28pm

    A study

    A man drove his car 30km to work every day. After removing the car the man began to show signs of tiredness, breathlessness, sweating and started showing up to work late. All obvious signs of car addiction.

     

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      Monkeyboy (profile), Apr 29th, 2010 @ 9:51am

      Re: A study

      It gets even better than that!

      A man drove his car 30km to work every day. After removing the car, the man seemed to become a loner and stopped leaving the house, or if he did leave, didn't go very far. He suddenly was fired from his job. His friends complained he never came to visit them anymore. All clear signs that his car addiction had taken over his life.

       

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        Karl Bode (profile), Apr 29th, 2010 @ 12:21pm

        Re: Re: A study

        Yes. People without transportation addicted, struggle with life in a society built around transportation when kept immobile. News at 11.

         

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    Ben (profile), Apr 28th, 2010 @ 10:40pm

    Living Life

    How surprising: those with many years before them are interested in how today's events will shape their futures. I'd call it an addiction to life...

     

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    Michael, Apr 29th, 2010 @ 7:21am

    Excellent

    I think we should take all of the research grants away from these "scientists" to see if they are addicted to them.

     

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