Social Media More Addictive than Smoking & Drinking
Can't resist your urge to Tweet or Facebook share? How about checking that text message from a friend or an email? Now it's making more sense…
Researchers from the University of Chicago used 205 people between the ages of 18 and 85. They told them no social media for two full weeks. They couldn't use things like Facebook, Twitter, email or text. Researchers gave each person BlackBerrys so they could communicate with them. Doing so seven times a day for a week, researchers asked the test subjects if they felt any urges to use social media. Researches recorded nearly 8,000 desire episodes (of around 10,000 responses), reporting that the need for social media topped the desire for things like sleep, sex, cigarettes and alcohol.
The results will soon be published in the journal Psychological Science.
The addictive nature of social media may be a result of its high availability. It's generally much easier and harmless to check a text or Facebook message than smoking a cigarette or drinking alcohol. Not to mention, these things won't take a toll on your health and wallet like these other things do (or so they say). Is social media a healthy activity? For the most part, it's a great way to connect with friends. However, in this day and age, many problems can arise from it. You get jealous boyfriends/girlfriends who stalk your Facebook wall or even that ex who is stalking your every move. It's going to be an interesting debate over time as we see what social media really does for people in the long haul.
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