Internet Addiction In The UK Leads To “Discomgooglation”

    September 2, 2008

The majority (76%) of Internet users in the UK admit they cannot live without the Web, according to research by YouGov.


Close to half (44%) of Internet users in the UK said they felt frustrated when they were unable to go online and 27 percent said they experienced increased stress levels. These feelings are being called Discomgoogolation, which is defined as "the feeling of distress or anxiety when unable to gain immediate information access."

The term comes from "discombobulate," meaning to confuse or frustrate, and Google. "The proliferation of broadband has meant for the first time in history we have entered a culture of instant answers – a galaxy of information is just a mouse click away and we have become addicted to the web," said Dr David Lewis, a psychologist who worked on the study.

The survey also found that 26 percent of respondents believe the Internet is "absolutely vital" to organizing their lives and 19 percent said that in a week they spend more time online than with their family. Twenty percent admitted that they pay more attention to the Internet than their partner.

"It seems to be especially stressful when people are out and about, as people often need to make many short notice decisions at this time, but feel they are doing so without the full information the Internet usually gives them," said Dr. Lewis.