Reactions by Emotional Type

“Personally, my dependence on the media is absolutely sickening.” — Lebanon

Going ‘unplugged’ triggered strong feelings: Students around the world wrote about the logistics of putting away all their media for a day, but it wasn’t the physical loss of being without their mobile phones and computers, their TVs and radios that they wrote most about – or wrote about most passionately.

Students – just about EVERY student – poured out their emotional responses to being unplugged. Most hadn’t thought about how they would “feel” – other than they knew they would be frustrated.  Students were blind-sided by how much the loss of their 24/7 access to media affected their moods – and they wrote about how the power of their feelings gave them insight into what they prioritize in their lives.

Click on the tabs above or the links below to explore how students felt about going ‘unplugged’ for 24 hours.  Researchers categorized the students’ emotional responses in eight ways:

Snapshot of Emotions: Click here or on the graphic at right to open up a full pdf poster of what students around the world had to say about how they felt during their 24-hours without media.

Comparison chart of emotional response: The chart below gives an overview of the emotional responses recorded by the students from all the countries in this Unplugged study. Click on the chart to open up a full-screen version.

Bar chart (above) of the various feelings expressed by students attending universities in participating countries. The numbers represent relative weights for each country.

While the values of the different color bands show some variations, two main factors make it difficult to read too much into the relative weights: the significantly different population sizes from the various universities and the variability of the coding.

Even though the entire data set of almost half a million words was coded twice, by two sets of researchers, with each country’s reports being read and coded by at least two people, the assignment of an “emotional category” to a particular word choice remains a somewhat subjective evaluation, especially when working with comments that have been translated. Therefore a comparison of numbers across countries that show variations of even as much as 0.05 points may only be indicative of differences.