What’s more addictive: Cigarettes or Facebook?
According to a new study in the journal Psychological Science, it’s Facebook. Researchers at the University of Chicago tracked the daily cravings of more than 200 people, and they found that our urge to check social media was the hardest to resist – even harder than the urge to sleep, smoke or drink alcohol! That means a Facebook “habit” may be harder to kick than tobacco or booze.
Why? Wilhelm Hofmann is a professor of behavioral science who led this new study. He says compared to all the other “vices” people have – like shopping, gambling, drinking, or taking drugs – social media is free, and widely available. Plus, the health consequences of using social media aren’t as serious as those for smoking or drinking. So, it’s easy to tell yourself that it’s “no big deal” if you give in to an urge to “tweet” or post a status update.
In fact, Hofmann says the worst thing that’ll happen if you have a Facebook addiction is that you’ll be less productive at work, your relationships will suffer, or people will think you’re rude!
So is there any hope of breaking your Facebook addiction? Hofmann’s says, research on willpower finds that the more often we resist an urge, the less successful we will be resisting that urge again. So go ahead and take planned Facebook breaks, say 10 minutes twice a day. That way you can control your urges. And when your boss swings by your desk at 4:45, you won’t be on a Facebook binge, frantically clicking “like” and tagging pictures.