I knew it. Going without your gadgets and your apps is as bad as trying to give up drugs. We need our daily fix, if not our hourly bread, according to a recent study reported this morning in The Telegraph. A clear majority of almost 1,000 university students, interviewed in Britain, America and China, were unable voluntarily to avoid their gadgets for one full day.
Research by the University of Maryland said that students admitted to cravings, anxiety attacks and depression when forced to abstain from using their electronic devices. One US college student told of overwhelming cravings similar to “itching like a crackhead.”
I don’t know about students and even less about crackheads, but if a representative sample of tech bloggers was to be interviewed the percentage of addicts would be near 100. I confess readily my addiction. It’s a bad day when I find I’ve left my iPhone at home and am actually incommunicado. Genuine panic sets in.
What’s happening with emails? Have I had a text? What’s the weather doing (it’s no longer sufficient to look at the sky)? What’s happening to AAPL on Nasdaq? What has Reeder, NetNewsWire or even Mr. Reader got in store for me? What did I send to Instapaper last night in bed? What’s the price of the Euro? Will my blog posts be missed? At least I know the answer to the last question: No.
Sometimes, though, I do worry about the level of our addiction to gadgets. What happens if the whole system fails one day? Who would know how to make a call from a phone box? Who could even find a working phone box? Last month Vodafone here in southern England was out of action for most of the day after thieves stole the routing equipment. I don’t mind telling you, by the end of those few hours I was twitching, fretting and suffering from anxiety attacks. Pass the needle, please.