Giving up Net as hard as quitting smoking

July 23, 2011 at 2:00 AM
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LONDON, July 23 (UPI) -- Giving up online and digital technology is considered by some to be as hard as quitting smoking or drinking, a British survey indicates.

Intersperience, an international consumer research organization, surveyed a nationally representative sample of more than 1,000 British people ages 18-65 and older on their "digital lives" including their attitudes and use of the Internet, smartphones and other connected devices.

"Online and digital technology is increasingly pervasive," Paul Hudson, chief executive of Intersperience said in a statement. "Our research shows how just dominant a role it now assumes, influencing our friendships, the way we communicate, the fabric of our family life, our work lives, our purchasing habits and our dealings with organizations."

Fifty-three percent of those surveyed say they feel upset when deprived of an Internet connection, and 40 percent say they feel lonely when they are unable to go online and are deprived of social networking, e-mail, texting or watching their favorite television channel.

The survey included challenging participants to get through one full day without using technology -- something one respondent called "my biggest nightmare."

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