First World Problems
A new scourge is sweeping the nation, Al Jazeera reports today in an in-depth investigation, that could be fodder for the saddest episode of Intervention to date.
Millenials are addicted to the Internet, the story says, even manifesting physical addiction symptoms and necessitating the existence of Internet rehab clinics.
A study by the International Center for Media and the Public Agenda asked 200 students at the University of Maryland to abstain from digital media including Internet, social media, phones and music for 24 hours. “Although I started the day feeling good, I noticed my mood started to change around noon. I started to feel isolated and lonely. I received several phone calls that I could not answer,” wrote one student. “By 2:00 pm. 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… I noticed physically, that I began to fidget, as if I was addicted to my iPod and other media devices, and maybe I am.”
Diana Adams dreams in tweets. One hundred and forty characters at a time, the Atlanta-based computer consultant’s subconscious bubbles up. “Sometimes I am literally sending someone a message on Twitter and sometimes the ideas just kind of come out that way,” she told Betabeat recently.
On most nights Ms. Adams wakes up two or three times to check her Twitter stream and reply to @ messages from her nearly 50,000 followers. “I sleep with my phone under my pillow,” she confessed. “But if you think that’s bad, you don’t know any real Twitterholics.”
Living among media-obsessed New Yorkers, including some who employ two computers, one for work and one for TweetDeck, Betabeat assured her we did know a little something about the siren song of the micro-messaging service. “If I’m away from Twitter for more than an hour or two, I get nervous and break into a sweat,” she countered. O.K., we admitted, you win.