The internet – a curse or a blessing? The worldwide communication service has allowed billions of us to stay updated with all the latest news and events happening all over the world and easily keep in touch with people we care about and on the other hand it is also one of the biggest time wasters of our era. How many of you can go by one whole day without having to log on to the internet to check your Facebook account, email or WoW account? Not many of us can, including me (and the fact that it is part of my job doesn’t help either).
The folks over at the University of Maryland did a study of 1,000 students from 10 countries including the US, UK, and China to see how they would react to 24 hours of no internet access. Students were suffering from withdrawal symptoms and were quoted as saying things like “Sometimes I felt ‘dead’.” The countries with the highest percentage of addicted kids were the US (23%) and China (22%).
In addition to finding out how miserable some kids were without the internet, it was discovered that most of them don’t go scouting for news on their own anymore, instead they rely on news to come to them via feeds from Twitter and Facebook – which shows how important and effective social media platforms can be in spreading the information. Especially in this era, when everybody stays connected either through their computers or mobile devices – nobody is really disconnected anymore and news can be easily pushed to everybody’s fingertips.
It looks like we’re all gradually moving towards a future where being connected is the norm, and being disconnected is not. I bet the folks who invented the internet never saw this coming – or did they? How much time do you let your kids or do you spend online, and do you think you could live life without it?
[image credit: jabulela]