Sunday December 16, 2018

People who use Internet a lot may experience increased Heart Rate and Blood Pressure when they go offline: Scientists

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London, June 1, 2017: Just as a drug addict may face withdrawal symptoms, people who use the internet a lot may experience significant physiological changes such as increased heart rate and blood pressure when they go offline, scientists have found.

“We have known for some time that people who are over-dependent on digital devices report feelings of anxiety when they are stopped from using them, but now we can see that these psychological effects are accompanied by actual physiological changes,” said study lead Phil Reed, Professor at Swansea University in Britain.

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The study involved 144 participants, aged 18 to 33 years, having their heart rate and blood pressure measured before and after a brief internet session. Their anxiety and self-reported internet-addiction were also assessed.

The results showed increases in physiological arousal on terminating the internet session for those with problematically-high internet usage.

There was an average three to four per cent increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and in some cases double that figure, immediately on termination of internet use, compared to before using it, for those with digital-behaviour problems, according to the study published in the journal, PLOS ONE.

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Although this increase is not enough to be life-threatening, such changes can be associated with feelings of anxiety, and with alterations to the hormonal system that can reduce immune responses.

The study also suggested that these physiological changes and accompanying increases in anxiety indicate a state like withdrawal seen for many ‘sedative’ drugs, such as alcohol, cannabis, and heroin, and this state may be responsible for some people’s need to re-engage with their digital devices to reduce these unpleasant feelings.

However, there were no such changes for participants who reported no internet-usage problems. (IANS)

 

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  • vedika kakar

    I can totally relate to this article on a personal level!

  • Esther S.

    There are no real choices now. You study via internet, work via internet, socialise via internet. We are clearly f*cked.

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Half The Global Population Uses The Internet: ITU Report

The ITU says countries that are hooked into the digital economy do better in their overall economic well-being and competitiveness.

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Nigeria, Population
Youths are seen browsing the internet inside the venue of the launch of Google free wifi project in Lagos, Nigeria. VOA

The International Telecommunication Union reports that for the first time in history, half of the global population is using the internet. A new report finds by the end of the year, 3.9 billion people worldwide will be online.

The report finds access to and use of information and communication technologies around the world is trending upwards. It notes most internet users are in developed countries, with more than 80 percent of their populations online. But it says internet use is steadily growing in developing countries, increasing from 7.7 percent in 2005 to 45.3 percent this year.

The International Telecommunication Union says Africa is the region with the strongest growth, where the percentage of people using the internet has increased from just over two percent in 2005 to nearly 25 percent in 2018.

Somalia, Population
A Somali man browses the internet on his mobile phone at a beach in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu. VOA

The lowest growth rates, it says, are in Europe and the Americas, with the lowest usage found in the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition to data on internet usage, newly released statistics show mobile access to basic telecommunication services is becoming more predominant. ITU Senior Statistician, Esperanza Magpantay says access to higher speed mobile and fixed broadband also is growing.

“So, there is almost 96 percent of the population who are now covered by mobile population signal of which 90 percent are covered by 3G access. So, this is a high figure, and this helps explain why we have this 51 percent of the population now using the internet,” she said.

With the growth in mobile broadband, Magpantay says there has been an upsurge in the number of people using the internet through their mobile devices.

Nairobi, Population
Young men surf the internet at a cyber cafe on June 20, 2012 in Kibera slum in Nairobi.

The ITU says countries that are hooked into the digital economy do better in their overall economic well-being and competitiveness. Unfortunately, it says the cost of accessing telecommunication networks remains too high and unaffordable for many.

Also Read: Global Care Crisis Rises Along With Growing Population

It says prices must be brought down to make the digital economy a reality for the half the world’s people who do not, as yet, use the internet. (VOA)