There's A Scientific Reason You Feel Anxiety When There's No WiFi

by Chris Riotta

I swear if I get kicked off the WiFi one more time while I'm writing this, I'll take my laptop and throw it out the f*cking window.

We've all been there before.

Whether you're trying to log onto your campus' sh*tty Internet service, connecting with your phone at a wireless cafe or just watching that little WiFi symbol go up and down on the top right of your screen, the frustration that comes with spotty Internet has been felt by us all.

Losing your connection to wireless Internet is one of the most inexplicably aggravating instances we face on a daily basis.

In fact, I'd say losing WiFi is sort of like getting behind the wheel on any given day in New York City: an absolute nightmare.

If you've ever seen me drive a car through the Big Apple, you know I have a big mouth and terrible road rage.

And that's exactly how most people feel when they lose a wireless connection. WiFi Rage. It's here, it's real and it's a type of anxiety affecting innocent people across the worldwide web.

If you've ever experienced WiFi Rage, you're certainly not alone.

It's an epidemic plaguing the globe.

Technology in general is extremely addictive

Part of the reason we become so quickly irritated the second we lose service is that technology as a whole is just so damn addicting.

The International Center for Media and the Public Agenda (ICMPA) studied 200 college students from the University of Maryland, College Park to determine just how addictive their media devices are.

The participants were required to spend 24 hours without consuming any media at all -- including with cell phones, the Internet, newspapers and television -- and report on their attempts at the end of the experiment.

Researchers found the withdrawal from technology is similar to that of any addiction; the students began to display signs of restlessness, apathy, loneliness and depression.

One student describes his day without media by writing,

Texting and IM-ing my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort, when I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life. Although I go to a school with thousands of students, the fact that I was not able to communicate with anyone via technology was almost unbearable.

Clearly, letting go of the devices we cling to is a difficult thing even to think about for most people.

To be perfectly honest, just the thought of having to leave behind my laptop, cell phone and iPad while I venture through my day leaves me feeling lost, scared and really vulnerable.

WiFi may actually be really bad for you

It's invisible, seamless and doesn't seem to have any tangible effect other than connecting us to the web. However, research shows that WiFi may actually pose some pretty disastrous side effects for humans.

The Global Healing Center reports that WiFi has been linked to insomnia, a reduction in brain activity and even stress on the heart.

So, if you've been feeling like you can't sleep ever since you installed that new high-speed router, you may have your WiFi to blame.

The report, published in Scientific American, shows that WiFi, as well as cell phone connection, disrupts brain patterns and makes it difficult for humans to sleep and concentrate.

It even has a damaging effect long after the device has been turned off or the connection has been lost.

If these things happen to the brain while our WiFi is turned on, who knows what researchers will find when they study the effects of losing connectivity.

Losing WiFi is one of the most annoying daily occurrences known to man

If you still don't believe WiFi Rage is a real thing, try spending a full day on a college campus, in a wireless office or sitting on your laptop at any coffee shop that offers free WiFi.

There is basically a 100 percent chance you will get thrown off the web. Usually, this will occur right when you begin the one job you had to do that day (the WiFi will work fine as you spend endless hours creeping on social media).

Watch -- you'll just be sitting there, innocently logging onto your online duties, when all of a sudden, the page goes blank and the loading time seems to go on a little longer than expected.

You wait, and you wait, and you wait -- each second, growing more irritated and irrational than the last.

Then, out of nowhere, it happens: You experience total WiFi Rage.

Citations: A Day Without Media (Without Media), 10 Shocking Facts about the Health Dangers of Wi-Fi (Global Healing Center), Mind Control by Cell Phone (Scientific American)