Internet and media addiction is not officially a psychiatric disorder, but many college students still seem to be suffering from it. In a recent study done by the University of Maryland, students who were asked to give up their media connections experienced withdrawal symptoms similar to those seen in drug and alcohol addicts, including cravings, anxieties, and preoccupation to the point of being unable to function well.
The students were asked to give up all media for 24 hours, including text messages, TV shows, music, e-mail, and Facebook, and to do so on all sources, including cell phones. Some of the students equated the stipulation to being entirely socially closed off from friends and family.
Many experienced cravings and anxiety because of their temporarily cut ties. One student called their dependency "sickening"; another spoke of texting and IM-ing giving him "a constant feeling of comfort" and said that the moratorium made him feel "alone and secluded" from his own life.