Giving up Internet for a day harder than quitting smoking

This survey may help explain why some users get so upset when their technology goes haywire.

A recent study shows just how hard a time most people have when they don’t have access to technology. That’s especially of email and other online activity — 53% people feel “upset” when they’re deprived of an Internet connection, even for a short time, according to the survey by British consumer research firm Intersperience.

Researchers also asked respondents to describe how they’d handle the challenge of staying offline for a full day. A number of people said it would be as hard as quitting smoking or drinking, and one even said it would be “like having my hand chopped off,” and another called it “my biggest nightmare.”

In addition, 40% of people said they feel lonely when they aren’t engaging in activities such as email or social networking.

Not surprisingly, among the 1,000 respondent age 18 and older, it was the younger people who said they’d have the hardest time going offline.

The survey only included folks in the U.K., but we doubt the results would have been much different had the survey been conducted stateside.

What about you? How would you handle being deprived of tech gadgets and a web connection for 24 hours?