Do you sleep cradling the phone? Sneak peeks at Twitter during meetings? Shudder at going without Internet? You're not alone.
Anecdotally, our Internet use seems to have spawned real addictions. And, according to several recently released surveys, we've got it bad.
More than half of Americans would rather give up alcohol, caffeine and chocolate for a week before parting temporarily with their cellphones, according to a recent survey by technology firm TeleNav Inc.
One-third would give up sex; 22 percent would give up their toothbrushes (versus 40 percent of iPhone users, who evidently love their phone more than clean teeth); and 21 percent would rather go shoeless before separating from a mobile phone. Sixty-six percent sleep with their smartphones by their side.
The addiction is so severe that people described going 24 hours without Internet akin to quitting an alcohol or cigarette habit, according to a report from British company Intersperience.
About 40 percent of those surveyed reported feeling lonely without the Internet, and 53 percent felt upset at being deprived. One person compared unplugging to "having my hand chopped off."
University students who faced a daylong Internet and media blackout began to display symptoms of withdrawal, a recent survey by the University of Maryland reported.
The anxiety was universal. One American said she was "itching like a crackhead" after going cold-turkey for 24 hours, an Argentine student reported feeling "dead" without media and a Lebanese student described the whole experience as "sickening."
"I truly feel sorry for the Amish," another opined. "I cannot even express how bored and out of touch with society I felt."
The students recognized that there are joys in life besides browsing the Web and curating their social networks, the survey said, but all nevertheless reported feeling boredom, distress, paranoia or sadness.
At least one admitted to desperately seeking a substitute.
"I suffered withdrawals," an American student wrote, "and even unconsciously reached out for a calculator which is slightly shaped like my phone."
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