A new study from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and reported in the Daily Telegraph has looked at the often-reported addictive nature of social media. And it says that, wait for it, Twitter and Facebook are more addictive than both cigarettes and alcohol. Which has got to be bollocks, surely?
The researchers said that the urge to keep on top of social networks and work are harder to resist than the urge for a pint or a fag. They reported that alcohol and tobacco prompt much lower levels of desire, despite their reputation for being addictive. Now I’m no expert…but I really can’t see the day when people are being checked into the Betty Ford Center for Twitter addiction.
It’s this sort of sensationalist bullshit that gives social media a bad name and that winds me up (like you couldn’t tell…). I’m certainly in the ‘social media power user’ set, but in no way whatsoever do I have such an all-consuming urge to check my Facebook page or my Twitter profile that it could be compared even remotely to alcoholism. It’s not even in the same ballpark, and I think it’s offensive to those who do suffer to make a connection.
There have been many discussions before about technology addiction, and I suspect it’s become a very real and serious issue for some. But more addictive than a drug that affects you not just psychologically but also physiologically?! What are your thoughts?