How much do you rely on the Internet? Probably more than you want to admit. Well a recent study found that Internet addicts suffer from extreme stress when they can't access a computer, especially when they're out and about. Psychologist Dr David Lewis says people need to make quick decisions when they're out, and some feel they're not making the best choices without the information the Internet gives them.
Internet addiction is not officially recognized as a clinical disorder, but researchers say Internet dependency can affect a person emotionally as well as physically. This stressful state, called 'discomgoogolation,' affected heavy Web users in the study who experienced increased blood pressure and brain activity when they couldn't access the Internet.
Just to give you an idea, the stress of being offline was compared to the feeling you get when you're about to take an important exam, when you're late to an important meeting, or when fired from your job. That's some heavy stressing.
A total of 2,100 men and women were tested for this study, and it seems men were most affected in the evenings when they couldn't get online, while women suffered more during the day. Both groups agreed that Friday was the most stressful day to be disconnected because they couldn't plan their weekend.
Apparently, as many as 87 percent of those surveyed said they now rely on the Web for all their information, and 26 percent said they wouldn't know where else to look if they didn't have access to the Web.
Geez, makes you wonder what we ever did without the Internet. I love having the Web at my fingertips, but I wouldn't say I depend on it to plan my weekends. What about you? Do you need the Internet to help you make decisions all the time?