NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new study appears to show the affects internet addiction has on your body and how it relates to alcohol or drug withdrawal.
Scientists from Europe studied 144 people between the ages of 18 and 33.
After a brief time online, the internet was cut off and vitals were measured.
They found people who admitted that they spent too much time online, had an increased heart rate and blood pressure of three to eight percent to go along with a matching anxiety level. People who don’t spend significant time online saw little change.
“The individuals in our study used the internet in a fairly typical way, so we are confident that many people who over-use the internet could be affected in the same way,” said study lead Phil Reed. “However, there are groups who use the internet in other ways, like gamers, perhaps to generate arousal, and the effects of stopping use on their physiology could be different – this is yet to be established.”
Like people suffering withdrawal from alcohol, marijuana and heroin, researchers believe digital addicts feel the need to re-engage, or log on, to reduce those unpleasant feelings.
The study also found that the participants spent an average of 5 hours a day on the internet, with 20% spending over 6 hours a day using the internet. More than 40% of the sample reported some level of internet-related problem – acknowledging that they spend too much time online.
There was no difference between men and women in the tendency to show internet addiction.