STUDY: Facebook Addiction's As Strong As Cigarettes

By Jennifer Moire Comment

Can’t stop checking your Facebook news feed? A new study shows you’re not alone, and the urge for a Facebook fix is at least as strong as the lure of tobacco and alcohol.

The survey of 250 people was published today in the journal Psychological Studies, and revealed that sex and sleep were the two things most longed for during the day, yet the need to check Facebook was too hard for most to overcome.

Despite the reputation for being addictive, alcohol and cigarettes generated lower levels of desire than the urge to check social networks.

This study finding actually jibes with what we’ve observed in people’s use of Facebook, finally ascribing some statistics to the phenomenon, although we’d prefer to see a larger study sample.

Researchers from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business fitted participants with devices which logged nearly 8,000 reports about people’s everyday desires.

Dr Wilhelm Hofmann explains the findings this way:

Modern life is a welter of assorted desires marked by frequent conflict and resistance, the latter with uneven success. As a day wears on, willpower becomes lower and self-control efforts are more likely to fail.

According to Dr. Hofmann, the report also revealed how any efforts to resist the temptation of social networks throughout the day zapped all willpower by the end of it.

Readers, how addicted to Facebook are you?