ADDICTION: Study Finds Social Media to Be Like Smoking Cigarettes

Posted by Knowlton Thomas

Firing off a tweet or status update is not unlike smoking a cigarette, new research suggests. According to a study conducted by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, social media may be just as addictive as cigarettes and alcohol.

Over 200 subjects delivered more than 8,000 reports and the results were clear: the toughest urge to resist was to check social networks online. Now, it wasn't the most desired activity—sleep and sex overpowered lust for tweeting—but many of the subjects actually had more trouble resisting the urge to social network than ignoring their desires for booze and smokes.

Fortunately, it's unlikely that social media will ever prove as dangerous as smoking and drinking us. Still, can we fight the temptation? The researchers discovered that, while possible, it isn't easy; when social networkers ignored the urges at one point, they simply caved quicker the next time temptation rolled around. On top of that, lead author Willhelm Hofmaan noted, our willpower tends to erode throughout the day.

Perhaps today's offices and schools should have a "tweeting pit" where employees and students can spend their breaks indulging in their favourite addiction among like-minded co-workers.

Company:
Twitter
Website:
http://www.twitter.com
Location:
San Francisco, California, United States

Twitter is a privately funded startup with offices in the SoMA neighborhood of San Francisco, CA. Started as a side project in March of 2006, Twitter has grown into a real-time short messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices. In countries all around the world, people follow the sources most relevant to them and access information via Twitter as it happens—from breaking world news to updates... more

Company:
Facebook
Website:
http://www.facebook.com
Location:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet. more


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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys playing tennis or otherwise enjoying the outdoors. more



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