College students are “addicted to media,” concludes a University of Maryland study, 24 Hours: Unplugged. Asked to go a day without media and then write about the experience, students described themselves as “in withdrawal, frantically craving, very anxious, extremely antsy, miserable, jittery, crazy.”
“We were surprised by how many students admitted that they were ‘incredibly addicted’ to media,” noted the project director Susan D. Moeller, a journalism professor at the University of Maryland and the director of the International Center for Media and the Public Agenda which conducted the study.
Without text messaging, phone calling, instant messaging, email and Facebook, students felt they couldn’t connect with friends, even those living near by.
“Texting and IM-ing my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort,” wrote one student. “When I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life. Although I go to a school with thousands of students, the fact that I was not able to communicate with anyone via technology was almost unbearable.”
Very few participants regularly read a newspaper, watch TV news, listen to radio news or check mainstream media news sites online. They pick up news from secondary sources.