Skip to main content

Survey: Brits feel upset and lonely without Internet

computerYou turn on your computer first thing in the morning. It cranks into action. You fire up the browser. And then….nothing. No familiar home page. Instead just a “could not connect to the Internet” message. Within seconds you feel your heart pounding. A bead of sweat forms on your brow. You click ‘refresh’. And you click it again. And again. And still nothing. You give it one more shot and to your great relief, your home page finally appears in all its familiar glory. You let out an audible sigh of relief. The world is once again a happy place.

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. In a recent survey by international consumer research specialist Intersperience looking at people’s emotional dependency on technology, it was discovered that, of the 1000 Brits surveyed, 53 percent feel ‘upset’ when deprived of an Internet connection, while 40 percent feel ‘lonely’ when unable to go online.

The survey asked people aged 18 and over about their digital lives, with particular attention paid to the use of the Internet and smartphones. The project, called Digital Selves, also involved challenging participants to give up tech for – get this – one whole day. One whole day? Most of us would be gibbering wrecks within an hour, let alone 24.

Indeed, giving up tech for a day was described by one participant as “like having my hand chopped off,” while another said it was “my biggest nightmare.” Many thought it would be as hard as trying to give up smoking or drinking.

It was found that of those challenged to give up tech for a day, the best many could do was merely switch their smartphone to silent mode, describing the idea of being disconnected for 24 hours as “inconceivable.” Others spent their usual online time watching TV – though they were told not to.

When unable to go online to engage in social networking or check emails, many in the survey said they felt “lonely.” Younger people in the survey found it the hardest to stay disconnected while for the over-40s it was less of a problem. Interestingly, there were some who actually relished the prospect of being told to stay away from tech for a day, with 23% saying they’d feel “free.”

Chief Executive of Intersperience Paul Hudson said of the findings: “Online and digital technology is increasingly pervasive. Our ‘Digital Selves’ research shows how just dominant a role it now assumes, influencing our friendships, the way we communicate, the fabric of our family life, our work lives, our purchasing habits and our dealings with organisations.”

Hudson continued: “The resulting stepchange in the way we engage with technology has occurred faster than many of us had anticipated. This has profound implications for society both from a personal and commercial perspective. We are about to embark on a new study looking exclusively at digital engagement in under-18s which we expect to highlight even more radical developments in the behavior and attitudes of children and teenagers.”

Ever felt upset or lonely if you’ve suddenly found yourself without your gadgets or a net connection? Hopefully it wasn’t like having your hand chopped off – or any body part, for that matter.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
This Alienware gaming laptop with RTX 4070 is over $500 off today
Alienware m18 laptop sitting on a table.

While there are gaming laptop deals on affordable devices, hardcore gamers may be looking at the other direction -- the most powerful devices that you can get with a discount. This one fits the bill -- the Alienware m18 gaming laptop for $1,950, following Dell's $550 discount on its original price of $2,500. We're not sure how much time is remaining on this offer, so you're going to have to be quick with your purchase if you want to make sure that you're able to grab this bargain.

Why you should buy the Alienware m18 gaming laptop
The specifications of the Alienware m18 allow it to challenge the performance of the best gaming laptops -- the AMD Ryzen 9 7845HX processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card, and 32GB of RAM. You won't run into any issues if you choose to play the best PC games at their highest settings, and you won't have to worry that your gaming laptop won't be enough for any upcoming PC games. All that power will be on full display on the Alienware m18's large 18-inch screen with Full HD+ resolution and a 480Hz refresh rate.

Read more
Dell’s MacBook alternative has a $300 discount today
Dell XPS 13 Plus front view showing display and keyboard deck.

If you've had your eye on MacBook deals for a while but you've been hesitant on investing in Apple's laptops for whatever reason, check out this offer for the Dell XPS 13 Plus, which is one of the brand's most popular MacBook alternatives. From its original price of $1,499, it will be yours for $1,199, for savings of $300 that you can spend on software and accessories. You're going to have to be quick with your purchase though, as we're not sure how much time is remaining before this bargain expires, and there's no telling when you'll get another chance at one of the most interesting laptop deals around.

Why you should buy the Dell XPS 13 Plus laptop
The Dell XPS 13 Plus will be able to keep up with all kinds of demanding tasks with its 13th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics, and 16GB of RAM. It also comes with a 512GB SSD for ample storage space, Windows 11 Home pre-installed, and a 13.4-inch screen with Full HD+ resolution. The laptop features a zero-lattice keyboard with large and deep keycaps for a comfortable typing experience, and a glass haptic touchpad that's highly precise.

Read more
The 23andMe data breach just keeps getting scarier
A 23andMe kit

The 23andMe breach that took place in October has been confirmed as much worse than originally reported, affecting 6.9 million people, as opposed to the 14,000 users first thought.

Information stolen in the breach included users' full names, birth years, relationship labels, and locations. Approximately 1.4 million users also had Family Tree profile information on the service compromised. Hackers could also access genetic information in the breach, including details about common DNA percentages shared with relatives, and specifics such as chromosome matching, according to a spokesperson.

Read more