In an experiment, called “Unplugged”, volunteers at 12 universities around the world spent 24 hours without access to computers, mobile phones, iPods, television, radio and even newspapers. They were allowed to use landline telephones or read books. Participants were asked to keep diaries about their experience. Entries in the diaries showed that many recorded feeling impatient, anxious or isolated.
Participants described feeling restless and reaching for their mobile phones even when they weren't there. There were also some good effects though, as people developed survival skills and went out for walks and visited friends rather than sitting in front of a computer.“What was amazing for us was how dependent people now are on their technology. People often don't own watches or alarm clocks because they rely upon their mobile phones to wake themselves up," researchers commented. Most participants in the study struggled without their mobile phones and felt they were missing out by not using Facebook. However, it was abstinence from music that caused them the most difficulty. "A lot of them said they found the silence quite uncomfortable and awkward," he said. "But as they got used to it, they began to notice more things around them like birds singing or hearing what their neighbours were doing. In their reflections on what they had been through, people freely admitted that they were experiencing symptoms of withdrawal. The students compared the experience to going on a diet or giving up smoking radically. The word addiction kept recurring."
More info: The world unplugged