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(1) Without a computer, a lot of people nowadays feel uneasy, irritated, which is a symptom of addiction.

(2) With their computer disconnected, a lot of people nowadays feel uneasy, irritated, which is a symptom of addiction.

(3 ) Without using a computer, a lot of people nowadays feel uneasy, irritated, which is a symptom of addiction.
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(3) is the sentence written by a friend of mine, and he is asking me if it works. IMO, (3) is weird but I cannot explain well why; it just doesn't feel right.

Well, maybe I'm wrong and there is nothing wrong in the sentence (3) . If so, then that's fine.

Could anybody tell me if it works or not, and if not, then why?
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Comments  
A few comments...

A. I recommend using "many" instead of "a lot", at least when writing articles or papers. The former is more formal and professional.

B. A grammatical problem in all three sentences is "...uneasy, irritated, which is a symptom...". It should be "..uneasy and irritated, which are symptoms..."

C. I would write the sentence as "Without regular access to a computer, many people feel uneasy and irritated, which are symptoms of addiction." Notice the omission of "nowadays". It doesn't sound professional and its meaning is already conveyed through use of the present tense in "feel".
Sorry about "a symptom". It's a typo.

The point of my question is whether "using" in "without using a computer, people feel uneasy..." sounds natural or not, and if not, why.
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"Without using a computer" in that sentence does not sound at all natural. It implies something like the following:

People can accomplish the task of feeling uneasy and irritated -- and, surprise, surprise! -- they can even do so without using a computer! Isn't that amazing? Even though they do not use a computer, they manage to feel uneasy and irritated.

Weird, isn't it? Emotion: smile

Werid indeed.

Then, what about this one?

Without using a computer, a lot of people nowadays WOULD feel uneasy, irritated, which are symptoms of addiction.

Does it sound weird as well?
I think it does, yes. It's the word "using" which seems wrong -- to me, anyway. Emotion: smile
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I was told this works:

Without the use of a computer, many people feel uneasy...

Why does "without the use" work while "without using" doesn't? "The Use" is a noun of the verb "use", right?
"the use" is a noun form of "to use" (the verb), yes.

I'm not convinced that "without the use" is very much better than "without using"! Maybe a little.

I find that "without ...-ing" (especially when used at the beginning of the sentence) suggests some sort of out-of-the-ordinary accomplishment or unexpected event in the past.

Without using his hands, he wrote a letter.
Without thinking, she blurted out the secret.
"I find that "without ...-ing" (especially when used at the beginning of the sentence) suggests some sort of out-of-the-ordinary accomplishment or unexpected event in the past. "

Very interesting!

Jim, one more question.

Do you think "without" can be restated as "if not"?

(e.g. Witout using=If they don't use)
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