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Published:July 23rd, 2011 12:14 EST

Study: Going Offline As Hard As Quitting Smoking Or Drinking

By Robert Paul Reyes

"The majority of people feel upset and lonely when they are deprived of access to the internet, according to consumer research.

A new study has revealed that 53 per cent feel upset when denied access and 40 per cent feel lonely if they are unable to go online.

The research found that people experience these feelings even if denied online access for a short time."

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It should be noted that researchers at the University of Maryland conducted the study using student volunteers. The young generation is wired in to the Net 24/7, with their iPhones, iPads and laptops.

Old people log on to their desktop computers maybe once or twice a day to see if their children have emailed them any pics of their grandchildren.

Elderly people live on analog time, and until they croak they will be stuck on beta version 1.0. There is no hope for them, it`s useless to try to get them to join the digital revolution.

But I can understand why the young and even the middle-aged feel lost and disoriented if they are deprived of access to the Internet. I use the Net to do research, post my article online, communicate with my editor, chat with friends and family, and of course to watch videos of cute cats on YouTube.

The study showed that people find going offline as difficult as quitting smoking or drinking. Given a choice between having access to the Internet or not having access to the Net but having access to Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears, and Lindsay Lohan any time day or night, I would choose the Net.

Get plugged in or get lost. I could never have a meaningful relationship with a Luddite who isn`t wired in to the Matrix, we wouldn`t have anything in common.

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