Kids go cold turkey when you take their technology away

Boffins have found that taking a kid’s computer technology away for a day gives them similar symptoms as going cold turkey.

The study was carried out by the University of Maryland. It found that 79 percent of students subjected to a complete media blackout for just one day reported adverse reactions ranging from distress to confusion and isolation.

One of the things the kids spoke about was having overwhelming cravings while others reported symptoms such as ‘itching’.

The study focused on students aged between 17 and 23 in ten countries. Researchers banned them from using phones, social networking sites, the internet and TV for 24 hours.

The kids could use landline phones or read books and were asked to keep a diary.

One in five reported feelings of withdrawal like an addiction while 11 percent said they were confused. Over 19 percent said they were distressed and 11 percent felt isolated. Some students even reported stress from simply not being able to touch their phone.

One in five said they felt just great and could feel the benefits of being unplugged.

One teen wrote that she found herself going down to the kitchen to pointlessly look in the cupboards, and it became regular routine.

Susan Moeller. lead researcher of the University of Maryland study, said the kids of today spend their entire lives being “plugged in”.

Even if they wanted to quit for a bit, they could be ostracised by their friends, she said.

However, once the mobile phones were switched off, teens were surprised that they could have more in-depth conversations with their friends.