When you lean too hard on a substance, coming off it can be a real drag. Take caffeine: Without coffee or even Diet Coke, even the most mild-mannered person can make everyone else sorry they're going without.
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It shouldn't surprise us that being online can be the same way — and our personalities can have a big effect on how we cope with that. Psychologists at De Montfort University in the U.K. have just released a study matching up personality traits with how we respond to failures in digital technology. In other words, if you get angry when your Wi-Fi goes down, it's probably time to look into a detox.
The researchers interviewed 630 people between the ages of 18 and 68, asking them about how they deal with situations and feelings like failures in digital technology, fear of missing out, and internet addiction. At the same time, participants took personality tests to see how they demonstrate extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. According to a press release, "the people most psychologically dependent on digital technology are most likely to have maladaptive responses when it goes wrong."
Recognizing your relationship with technology is the first step to taking charge of it. You may not need a full-on digital detox, but there's a lot to be said for taking stock of how you engage with the internet and what you can declutter from your day-to-day. Even retooling the way you do email can work wonders for your mental health. You may not need drastic solutions to being glued to the internet, but every little bit is always going to help.