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.