Susan D. Moeller of the University of Maryland and the director of International Center for Media & the Public Agenda says whether in developing countries or developed countries the findings are strikingly similar in how teens and young adults use media and how "addicted" they are to their cellphone, laptop or mp3 player.
The researchers and colleagues at the Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change asked about 1,000 students in 10 countries on five continents to give up all media for 24 hours and record their experiences.
The study found the students reacted almost identically to being unplugged from media and used virtually the same words to describe their reactions, including: fretful, confused, anxious, irritable, insecure, nervous, restless, crazy, addicted, panicked, jealous, angry, lonely, dependent, depressed, jittery and paranoid.
"Perhaps naively, we assumed that we would find substantial differences among the students who took part in this study," Moeller says in a statement.
"After all, our partner universities come from very different regions and from countries with great disparities in economic development, culture and political governance."
In short, the students were blind-sided by how much media have come to dominate their lives and their identity, Moeller says.
The study is at: http://theworldunplugged.wordpress.com/.