A new study conducted by the University of Chicago reveals that texting and checking Facebook and Twitter ranks just below the urge to eat and have sex. That is definitely a good reason to turn off those cellular devices during dinner dates! Seems like our struggle to appease our appetite for social media could force us to update our status while doing the do.
The 250 subjects, ages 18-25, were given Blackberries with the Facebook app already installed. Researchers occasionally messaged them to see if they were feeling the urge to check social media: they found that most of the time, people could hardly resist the sweet temptation of a “wall update” or new message. The tension we experience when compelled to check Facebook or Twitter and the instant easy fix we receive when the page loads is quite similar to other addictions.
Smokers and drinkers were even more tempted by social media than their bad habits. The fact that it is such a quick and easy “fix” makes the Facebook addiction quite a pervasive one compared to other bad habits that may have more detrimental effects. Smoking may come with the risk of cancer and you can lose your liver to drinking, but Facebook seems to have no obvious ramifications.
That by no means makes it an addiction to be taken lightly, especially if a need for interaction via social media makes people less social in the “real” world. Who knows, maybe there will soon be Facebook or Twitter rehabs popping up around your neighborhood. [SFGate.com]