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68% of Americans suffer disconnection anxiety, should probably go outside

Sure, we'll admit to a certain unhealthy super-fun fascination with gadgetry, but a new study out this month by the Solutions Research Group says that overall, we're borderline obsessed -- and that 68 percent of Americans in general feel anxious when not connected in one way or another. The study used research collected on almost 5,000 people over two years, and found that feelings of "disconnect anxiety" affected people of all ages, triggering sentiments like "dazed," "disoriented," "tense," "inadequate" and even "panic." Interestingly, however, the reasons for disconnect anxiety changed as subjects got older -- teens and young adults worried about social communications being cut off, while older adults mostly fretted over work and safety issues. The study is backed up by all kinds of humorously embarrassing data like the percentage of BlackBerry users who've sent a message in the bathroom (63%) and the average number of Facebook friends a 12-24 year old has (159) but what we found most surprising is that just 37% of laptop owners frequently use their machines in the bedroom. That seems awfully low to us -- what if you miss something while you're asleep?

[Warning: PDF link]