A University of Maryland survey of college students at campuses worldwide found four in five students admitted to significant mental and physical distress when forced to spend an entire day without modern technology such as mobile phones, laptops and television as well as social networking activities such as Facebook and Twitter.
The researchers said a "clear majority" of almost 1,000 university students interviewed in 10 countries including Britain, America and China were unable to voluntarily do without their gadgets for 24 hours, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.
Research leader Susan Moeller said technology has changed students' relationships.
"Technology provides the social network for young people today and they have spent their entire lives being 'plugged in,'" she said.
Students reported doing without was like going "cold turkey," she said.
"Students talked about how scary it was, how addicted they were," Moeller said.