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Internet addiction? Blame it on Information Deprivation Disorder Add to ...

Morning radar: Three things we're talking about this morning

Do you get the jitters when your BlackBerry battery dies? Does a day without the web give you the shakes? You may be suffering from a condition scientists are calling Information Deprivation Disorder.

In an international study called Unplugged, volunteers at 12 universities around the world were asked to keep detailed diaries while spending 24 hours in a tech and information blackout - without cell phones, computers, iPods, televisions, radio and newspapers. (They could use land line phones and read books.)

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What they found: People reported feeling fidgety and finding silence strange and uncomfortable. They kept looking for the phones, even though they weren't carrying them. "Students likened the experience to going on a diet, giving up smoking and going cold turkey," a British researchers who worked on the study told the Telegraph. "The words addiction kept recurring."

Of course, if you are feeling the symptoms of IDD, you can always Google for more information. A new report out of the London School of Economics suggests that the number of people searching for health information online continues to grow. According to a survey of 12,000 people in 12 different country, 81 per cent of respondents said they go online to get health information - four in 10 using to it to find anecdotal information from other patients. That's not always healthy: Only about a quarter of the respondents reported checking the quality of the source of their information.

And meanwhile, college applicants are putting their internet addictions to good use. According to a story in the Washington Post, more colleges in the United States are allowing prospective students to beef up their applications with video submissions, with St Mary's College in Maryland encouraging students to submit what it called an "audition tape."

In the video submissions, often posted to YouTube, students sing and dance and direct spoofs on television commercials - one student travelled around campus and her city with posters listing the alphabet of reasons why she wants to attend her chosen school - such as Q for quidditch, a club that "can translate my love of books into a sport." (For a sampling of videos, go here.)It's a chance for students to show off their personality - not evident in grade transcripts. But while it may make a student memorable, one director of admissions told the newspaper, "This is just a piece of the process. this is not worth dropping your grade in physics."

Follow on Twitter: @ErinAnderssen

 

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