Many of us have merged with our digital devices, making us lonely, depressed, or even addicted to technology, according to research.
Many of us have merged with our digital devices, making us lonely, depressed, or even addicted to technology, according to research. (Chuck Todd/Staff Archives)

We may not realize it, but most of us have merged with out digital devices. As a result, technology is making us lonely, depressed, even addicted, according to research.

If Internet Use Disorder or IUD is included in the revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-V) this May, it will be a wake-up call for many of us to limit our time online and learn to appreciate life off the grid.

Until then, take a gander at these facts about just how obsessed we have become with technology, courtesy of Pew, 11 Mark, Forensic Psychology.net, and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. You may re-evaluate your new year's resolution.

  • Fifty percent of Americans say they prefer to communicate digitally rather than in person.

  • The average web user checks 40 sites a day and switches activities, windows or programs 37 times an hour.

  • Sixty-one percent of Americans admit to being addicted to the Internet.

  • The average person, regardless of age, sends or receives about 400 texts a month, four times the 2007 number. The average teen processes an astounding 3,700 texts a month, double the 2007 figure.

  • Researchers analyzed 780 swab samples -- 390 from mobile phones and 390 from the hands that used them -- in 12 U.K. cities and found that 16 percent of both hands and phones were contaminated with E. coli, illness-causing bacteria that is fecal in origin. A similar study was conducted by 11 Mark, a Virginia-based marketing firm specializing in technology and health care.