On Campus

Who needs drugs when there's email?

University students exhibit withdrawal symptoms when deprived of media for a day

A new study, which is sure to relieve students of those pesky “entitled generation,” “limited attention-span” labels, has been released showing that students are addicted to media. (Similar studies have proven that driving blindfolded increases the likelihood of getting in an accident, and that the majority of preschoolers have a poor grasp of basic logarithmic expressions.)

The study, “24 Hours: Unplugged” by the International Center for Media and the Public Agenda in Maryland asked 200 students to put away their televisions, iPods, laptops, cellphones and newspapers for 24 hours. Blogging about the experience afterward, investigators found that students used “literal terms of addiction” to describe the experience. Such terms included: in withdrawal, frantically craving, very anxious, extremely antsy, miserable, jittery, and crazy.

Some students experienced “phantom ringing” from their cell phones, as one student reported:

“I could swear I heard my phone’s sound for when I had a message (which was impossible because the phone itself was turned off).”

Others suffered mood swings:

“By 2:00 p.m. I began to feel the urgent need to check my email, and even thought of a million ideas of why I had to. I felt like a person on a deserted island.”

And many were just plain bored:

“Thankfully, the combination of studying and randomly shooting paper clips into my garbage across the room took me all the way until dinner.”

Rumour has it that a few unlucky participants were actually coaxed into going outside for a walk, though most recoiled in horror when hit with direct sunlight.

– Photo by ydhsu

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