The mental side effects of a drug withdrawal are often debilitating, and can include anxiety, confusion or mild to severe depression. This is true of cigarettes, alcohol, and heroin. But could it apply to the internet as well? According to a study conducted by the London based behavior research company Intersperience, 53 percent of people feel upset when they are separated from the internet, and 40 percent feel "lonely." Do these withdrawal symptoms mean that the Internet is a drug? And if so, what should be done to curb our national addiction?
Gary Small, professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of "iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind," talks about whether these withdrawal symptoms mean the internet can be a drug. Harper’s Magazine writer McKenzie Funk wrote about how internet and video game addictions are handled in China.