Youths addicted to mobile phones, computers: Study

Some are so addicted that they seem to have lost a limb when they are without them.

Updated: Apr 19, 2011, 18:37 PM IST

London: Youngsters are inseparably hooked to gadgets like mobile phones and computers, with some so addicted that they seem to have lost a limb when they are without them, a global survey said.

Some respondents reported feeling so deprived without their iPhones or BlackBerrys that it was similar to the "phantom limb" syndrome suffered by amputees.

The findings, by the University of Maryland in the US, show the growing reliance that the younger generation has on technology and how it has become central to their lives, according to the International Centre for Media and the Public Agenda.

While phones were the most essential device, others such as computers, MP3 players and TV were also considered essential to get people through their day, the Telegraph reports.

Many young people reported mental and physical symptoms of distress and "employed the rhetoric of addiction, dependency and depression" when reporting their experiences of trying to go unplugged for a full day.

"Students talked about how scary it was, how addicted they were," study leader Professor Susan Moeller said.

`The World Unplugged` project asked more than 1,000 students from 10 countries, including Britain, to go without their gadgets for 24 hours and monitored their feelings.

Moeller said that more than 50 percent of students failed to go the full 24 hours and everyone claimed to suffer some kind of withdrawal symptom.