By Staff Writer
While internet addiction is not currently a medically diagnosable condition, its symptoms can feel as real as any other disorder to those who suffer from it, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Maryland.
The investigation asked college students from around the world to go 24 hours without using any digital media. This included computers, cellphones and any other device for accessing the internet. Many of the students were unable to meet the challenge, and they often reported symptoms similar to those of drug addicts.
“I was itching, like a crackhead, because I could not use my phone,” one participant told the researchers.
Many of the participants also reported feeling lonely, lost, confused and depressed. Some even felt as if they were dead, and said that they could not go on in life without their digital media.
These symptoms are similar to those often experienced by drug addicts. The study subjects’inability to go even a short time without using media may indicate a high level of dependence. Drug rehab and mental health centers may help individuals who believe they suffer from internet addiction.