Oh Please, please Don’t Take Away My ‘Net!

On the plane back from San Francisco, I read an old copy of the Atlantic Monthly. Among the many choice items was a snippet about what happens when Internet users are deprived of their daily fix. Being in the category of email addict, I read with interest about a study done last year. A group of internet users were unhooked for a two-week period and asked to record in diaries what they did and how they felt. They were uniformly miserable, discovering that the Internet was more deeply embedded in their daily lives than they thought.

All of them reported feeling lost, frustrated, and disconnected after the plug was pulled. Asked what they would do if they were marooned on a deserted island, and had to choose between a phone, a newspaper, TV, books or radio, a whopping 64% would take the ‘Net.

Another study went further, asking how much they would need to be paid to give up the Internet for two whole weeks, and the answers averaged $152. But the researchers had to approach 750 people just to get twenty-eight willing subjects, even though they offered to pay them $950 to be a part of the study.