Social Media Is As Addictive As Sex, Says Science

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We’ve all tried to quit at some point. We’ve thrown our smart phones down — or stacked them on top of each other. We’ve vowed no more trips to the restroom for secretive tweeting. We’ve gone so far as to hit the “deactivate” button  — but we always come crawling back, cursing and debating our integrity. And now we can finally have some reprieve from the grief we feel for giving into the vicious cycle of social media.

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According to a study at the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business, it is now just as desirable, and (seemingly) just as pleasurable, to indulge in Facebook, Twitter and other means of social interaction via the internet as it is to have sex. People tested in the study were in the age range of 18-85, were given a Blackberry (really? People still use those?), and were asked to let the researchers know, within a 30 minute span, if they had a burning desire to humor their social media sensibilities.

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Along with these virtual desires, subjects were asked to document other urges such as sleeping, drinking, smoking, and well, sex, and rate these desires on a scale from “strong” to “irresistible”.

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Numbers were crunched and it was found that social media was harder to resist than most other non-internet related urges such as smoking a cigarette and fornication. Wilhelm Hofmann, the lead author of the study, said that “desires for media may be comparatively harder to resist because of their high availability and also because it feels like it does not cost much to engage in these activities, even though one wants to resist.”

Apparently, we like it quick and easy in more ways than one.

[LA Times]