Can’t resists checking Facebook fifteen times a day? Have a dozen or so blogs bookmarked? Rely on a burgeoning RRS feed to get you through lunch? You’re not alone, and according to new research, it’s probable that you’re working too hard.
According to research presented at a psychological conference in the UK, people under a lot of pressure and who work too much tend to use the Internet more compulsively than others. Researchers had 516 people complete questionnaires. The participants ranged in age from eighteen to sixty five, with some being employed and others unemployed. The questionnaires respected workload, emotional stability, life satisfaction, and Internet usage.
More than sixty per cent of the respondents said that they used the Internet excessively, and researchers linked this to a heavy workload—even when they took emotional stability into account.
Interestingly, the unemployed spent more time online, but didn’t display the same addictive tendencies as the employed did, who experienced withdrawal symptoms when separated from the Internet. Whereas the unemployed are deliberate and casual about their internet usage, the highly stressed furtively click around all willy-nilly, presumably checking their email seventeen times and hour and regularly crashing their browser by running thirty-seven tabs at once. Not that we’d know anything about that.
Given the data, we’d advise those of you addicted to clicking link after link to spend a little less time online and a little more time in the real world—but we’re in the exact same boat.