Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Social Networks Facebook Twitter

Study Finds Social Media Harder To Resist Than Cigarettes, Alcohol 134

Posted by samzenpus
from the friends-list-fix dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Checking a Twitter, Facebook or email account for updates may be more tempting than alcohol and cigarettes, according to researchers who tried to measure how well people regulate their daily desires. Researchers also found that while sleep and sex may be stronger urges than certain drug addictions, people are more likely to give in to their addiction to use social or other types of media."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Study Finds Social Media Harder To Resist Than Cigarettes, Alcohol

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 05, 2012 @09:36PM (#38938545)

    ...is what my mom told me about alcohol and tobacco.

  • slashdot (Score:5, Funny)

    by noh8rz2 (2538714) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @09:36PM (#38938553)
    also, checking constantly to see if anybody replied to my slashdot posts. also, looking for new articles to claim frist! addictive.
    • by antdude (79039)

      You don't get e-mail notification of new replies?

    • by dargaud (518470)
      Yes, I do find it ironic that the first thing I write this morning as I get out of bed is a comment on an ancient social media website about the addictiveness of social media website. There's probably a lesson to be learned here but I gotta go check facebook and boing and...
  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki&gmail,com> on Sunday February 05, 2012 @09:41PM (#38938575) Homepage

    Does this mean that social media will now be the blame for all the evils of society? Finally replacing D&D, and "violent video games."

    • Re:So... (Score:4, Funny)

      by mjwx (966435) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @10:16PM (#38938733)

      Does this mean that social media will now be the blame for all the evils of society? Finally replacing D&D, and "violent video games."

      Nope, it now means it will be taxed like tobacco and alcohol.

    • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by causality (777677) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @10:21PM (#38938753)

      Does this mean that social media will now be the blame for all the evils of society? Finally replacing D&D, and "violent video games."

      Man, don't give them ideas. Busybodies never seem to be busy enough.

      Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
      -- C.S. Lewis

      Usually that phony Puritannical "morality" is most visible when the subject is drugs, pornography, or controversial speech. At least on the Internet this sort of typecast personality is really going to have a hell of a time trying to enforce it, but still, I'd rather not see them try. I'd rather they do something more worthy of their limited time on this planet, like uproot their desire to run other peoples' lives by recognizing it as more evil than anything they'd rail against. Then maybe, just maybe, they can find their own fulfillment and witness the way that really living your own life magically takes away your undue concern for how others live theirs.

    • by Koby77 (992785)
      I don't understand why anyone compares the internet and social media to addiction. We could just as easily have said that people are addicted to talking on the phone or watching TV. Heck, why not say that people who communicate by any means with other people are somehow addicted and should stop? I challenge the non-internet savvy crowd to stop talking to anyone or else I say that you too must have some sort of illness!

      No, desire for interacting with others not addiction. The technophobes are just jealous
      • I don't understand why anyone compares the internet and social media to addiction.

        Understand that one of the hallmarks of addiction is the process of fulfilling the addiction is overwhelming and interferes with other aspects of an individual's life. If you spend every waking moment trying to obtain your next 'fix', whatever that may be, then you suffer from an addiction.

        In the fairly recent past, I have had to terminate employees due to sneaking phones into work so they could hide and play with Facebook. I even fired one when I walked into my locked office, the door had been jimmie

      • I'm addicted to food. If I don't eat about three times a day I start to feel really terrible. Should I seek help or just accept that I am a hopeless case?
    • by mosb1000 (710161)

      It will be added to the list. There's always more room for more needlessly vilified social habits.

    • Don't forget to blame Ozzy. He was a pet whipping boy for the "evils of society" a few years ago, too.

      And dancing. Dancing is bad, m'kay?

      :D

    • Re:So... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by vlm (69642) on Monday February 06, 2012 @07:34AM (#38940635)

      Does this mean that social media will now be the blame for all the evils of society?

      That's been done so much its a laughable cliche now... kind of like we laughed at them blaming DnD and video games but they just continued to babble it for years after most people laughed at them.

      Check out any stereotypical "cops n robbers" night time drama where the bad guy did something bad to the victim after doing some kind of social media thing, the message being FB is dangerous but watching our TV show is both safe, entertaining, and makes you superior to being a victim and you get to blame the victim for "doing the wrong thing" (not watching TV addictively). Check out any stereotypical daytime talk show (the now retired Oprah must have done 100 shows about this, also see her buddy Dr Phil) with endless hour long explanations of how their unstable kid/husband/housepet/whatever would never have gone over the edge if it were not for FB/twitter/etc. A decade ago they would have gone over the edge due to video games, a decade before that due to DnD, a decade before that due to Elvis's hips or something.

      Its such a tired cliche, and so much of the audience is already addicted, that now they aggressively support twitter / FB. It would make an interesting google ngram graph, were such a thing possible, to graph daytime talk shows with one line being "social media scare stories" and the other line being "FB and twitter product placement / social media self promotional links".

      Its an interesting model for other activities. Once you get around 50% of the population to smoke weed, then suddenly, in a matter of weeks, Oprah/Dr Phil/CSI will phase shift from weed being the root of all evil to it being the greatest thing on earth and why not try our celebrity branded strain...

    • by utkonos (2104836)
      What is D&D?
  • Disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3@gmail. c o m> on Sunday February 05, 2012 @09:43PM (#38938583)
    Back when I waited tables in a restaurants to pay for college, I can promise you me and the other servers were not taking Facebook breaks outside the back door.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Back when I waited tables in a restaurants to pay for college, I can promise you me and the other servers were not taking Facebook breaks outside the back door.

      yeah but phones, much less the internet, didn't even exist back then ;)

    • This information is pointless without a time-frame. Was this in the 70's? Was it last week?

      Just the other day I saw at least a dozen people who should have been working who were messing with their phones. How's that for anecdotal evidence!

    • by g00ey (1494205)

      Back when I waited tables in a restaurants to pay for college, I can promise you me and the other servers were not taking Facebook breaks outside the back door.

      Maybe this is about to change now that we have smartphones and mobile broadband/4G.

    • Re:Disagree (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Marurun (1938210) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @11:51PM (#38939077)
      Anywhere retail related where I've worked in the past six years had employees always using their phones to do that. The manager at a fast food place I worked for had his phone attached to a charger and would constantly check his texts and FB while doing stuff like slicing onions. One of the girls working there would always be using her phone for the same purpose as well as taking cigarette breaks outside the back door. From that alone, I'd say some people have an addiction problem to social media.
      • Why? I don't see how trying to distract oneself while doing a mindless job means addiction.

      • by msobkow (48369)

        It's not just "working retail." I see the same addiction in over half the people I know that have "smart phones."

        It's a perverse need to be "constantly connected" that's at fault, a hunt for instant and perpetual little hits of gratification.

        "Oh, look, someone liked/modded-up/viewed what I said!"

        There's a REASON I don't use page counters on any of my websites where they aren't mandated. I don't want to find myself being more worried about page counts and phrasing things to boost page counts rather

  • by theNAM666 (179776) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @09:43PM (#38938587)

    I can not press "submit" on this post. Really. I *can* not press submit. Really I can....

  • by hal2814 (725639) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @09:49PM (#38938607)
    Tax social media to the extent they tax alcohol and tobacco and then see how easy it is to give up.
    • by techno-vampire (666512) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @10:00PM (#38938645) Homepage
      Governments have been taxing alcohol [wikipedia.org] for centuries and tobacco for decades and it hasn't stopped people from using either one of them. Anybody who thinks that taxing something that people like is going to make them stop must be suffering from the Bullwinkle Syndrome.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 05, 2012 @10:24PM (#38938767)

        It's a money game, not politicians trying to help people.

        As a douchebag politician you get to stand in front of everyone with a straight face and say it's because those vices are bad for you and you want to discourage it. What you're really doing is using addictions to collect massive amounts of revenue. Even better, nobody can argue with you, or they're some monster supporting alcohol and nicotine addiction.

        This is why a $3 pack of cigarettes in a major city can cost $12, while people still smoke.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by kosty (52388)

        A sin tax error...

      • by pjt33 (739471)

        I think that was grandparent poster's point: if people stop using social media because it's taxed, it clearly isn't as addictive as alcohol and tobacco.

        There is, of course, a slight problem with this. Unless you put in a lot of effort to make your own, you'll have to pay for the alcohol and tobacco anyway, so adding taxing increases the cost by a non-infinite proportion.

      • by hal2814 (725639)
        With alcohol, you are correct. With cigarettes, you are very, very wrong. [usatoday.com]
    • Yes, I'm sure taxing users to access slashdot will go down well. I doubt it would have much effect on traffic either.

    • yeah right. even if it was less than 1 cent per post, the government wouldn't know what to do with all the money that would generate.

  • by ad454 (325846) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @09:51PM (#38938619)
  • "Addiction"?? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by scottbomb (1290580) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @09:52PM (#38938625) Journal

    The pretense behind this study seems rather shallow. "Social media" is really nothing more than a way for people to keep in touch with friends and family. I can go to ONE website and see how my daughter, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends are doing. It's very convenient. And yes, I check it throughout the day. If that's an "addiction", it's a pretty good one to have.

    • That was my though exactly. This is really stupid. "People need food, if they are deprived of it for awhile, they will go to amazing lengths to get it, sacrificing all kinds of important stuff!". Well, learning that social connections are nearly as important as food or water is really no surprise at all.

      If the study author has a problem with people's chosen forms of maintaining those social connections, maybe a study comparing and contrasting those might be in order. But to state "Oh, people go to amazing l

      • Re:"Addiction"?? (Score:4, Informative)

        by subreality (157447) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @11:42PM (#38939043)

        about as insightful as noting that starving people crave food.

        It's profoundly insightful when you notice people failing to eat (or hold down a job so they can eat) because they're too hung up on Facebook. Any time you have a strong drive that's possible. Most people can control it; some fail and become addicts.

    • And yes, I check it throughout the day. If that's an "addiction", it's a pretty good one to have.

      That's not an addiction. An addiction is when the drive to do something is so strong that you can't stop it, even when you recognize that it's displacing other important things like showing up for work, sleeping, eating, and spending time with family.

      Your use of social social media : social media addiction :: a glass of wine with dinner : alcoholism

    • by msobkow (48369)

      Not at all. Addiction is simply letting something become such a big part of your life that "normal" activities and interests suffer or are abandoned.

      It's VERY possible to be addicted to the internet, to forums, to chat, to texting, to gambling, etc.

      You don't need a physical addiction as with heroin or meth to suffer the negative effects of being an addict.

      e.g. If your boss fires you for texting/smart-phone-surfing on the job, how is that different than being fired for being caught with a mickey of a

    • by utkonos (2104836)
      Yes, I would agree, and I would go a step further and generalize this into "News." It is not news in the sense of the evening news (even though these days, I learn what is going on in the world faster through my friends online presences than through any classic news source ever). I was reading facebook posts and making facebook posts literally while my house was shaking during the Virginia earthquake last year. I had news radio on, and the delay was about 5 minutes before something was said on there. In
  • Oh yes, please, please, _please_ start the war on social media and make drugs, poverty and terrorism legal.
  • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @10:04PM (#38938667)
    Ha! I don't drink smoke or do any drugs or have a face book account! I am immune to such temptations! muhahaha.
  • Sleep? (Score:5, Funny)

    by wisnoskij (1206448) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @10:08PM (#38938683) Homepage

    So sleeping is an addicting activity and anyone doing is just giving into a base desire?
    Don't know why this study did not include breathing, I know some air addicts that cannot stop breathing for more then a minute. They are so addicted they even do it in their sleep.

  • The question is... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Wingfield (872389) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @10:10PM (#38938693)
    Do people generally view social media as more destructive than other addictions such as cigarettes or alcohol? Some may regulate their addictions to cigarettes or alcohol because of their destructive effects on health or general productivity. Does the overall decrease in productivity from social media such as facebook, youtube, or twitter count for more than the decrease in productivity from drinking or smoke breaks? What about the effects of liver/lung damage?
    • by rmstar (114746)

      Do people generally view social media as more destructive than other addictions such as cigarettes or alcohol?

      As with cigarettes or alcohol, It really depends on the degree of addiction.

      Lots of people really spend their day in social media. I agree it is probably fun, but does it lead somewhere in the long run? If you notice in ten or twenty years that you got nowhere basically because you spent your time chatting, blogging, and posting stuff in facebook - then it might well be a very destructive addiction.

  • Narcissism is a powerful force, as is "sense of belonging" 2 things FB feeds quite well regardless of the reality.

  • Sleep is optional? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by xtal (49134) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @10:12PM (#38938713)

    Sleep is pretty hard to resist. If you don't do it, you die.

    Not really the same as cigarettes?

  • it can be more poisoning to your well-being than either...
  • What? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sattu94 (1989362) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @10:33PM (#38938795)

    After using Facebook for 3 years I recently deleted my account.
    They require you to wait 14 days before the actual cancellation takes place, maybe most people who try to resist to the temptation to use FB are felled by this grace period.
    It obviously acts as a secure way to make deletions, in case someones account is hacked, but still.

  • Can we quit pretending that addiction is a one dimensional thing? There are many factors that go into an addiction. For example, most people that I know smoke have some desire to quit smoking because they feel less healthy. Most people that I know that use facebook don't really have a desire to quit using facebook.
  • Fuck (Score:5, Funny)

    by PvtVoid (1252388) on Sunday February 05, 2012 @10:55PM (#38938861)
    Now I really want a drink and a smoke.
  • Yes, social is addicting. Should it still be vilified? Last time I checked, you can't die from it (fringe serial killers aside)!!

  • air, water, food, companionship... I'm an addict really...
    • Yeah, sweet old dihydrogenmonoxide. My favorite addiction. I never tried to stop, because I heard such horror stories. Better to continue until death. Luckily my emplyer allows me to get my fix at work.
  • Crackbook Anonymous.

  • Except I don't want to resist booze.

    Now excuse me while I grab a shot.

  • I found it actually quite very easy to resist social media despite the article mumbo-jumbo "magical" statistics easiest example... When my grandmother died, I posted the news on facebook. One would think that their would of been remorseful replies but instead all I got was a free cow, and no replies. All my former classmates, family, and so callled "facebook Friends" didn't reply at all. I later cancelled my account. Social media lacks the REAL personal influence. It is merely a glass surface many
    • The relationships you have on Facebook can be real, it depends entirely how you use it. My friend just recently posted about his dog dying and he got several dozen supportive comments, YMMV. My Facebook friends are pretty much all friends IRL, so they do really care.

  • People are more likely to give in to ordinary things which have no negative side-effects than harddrugs?
    Who would have thought.
    In completely unrelated news, people are more likely to masturbate than murder.

  • From TFS:

    people are more likely to give in to their addiction to use social or other types of media

    It may be simply because they're less dangerous than cigarettes and alcohol, so there's less reason to resist.

  • Drunk twittering is a life ruiner.

  • It just goes to show, in the 21st century "Facebook is the Opium of the people".
  • It can not be true. I didn't even check /. today. I never even missed it.
  • Checking a Twitter, Facebook or email account for updates may be more tempting than alcohol and cigarettes,

    But not more tempting than crack.

  • ...welcome our new social media overlords

  • I'm SO going to have to post this to my FB page!

  • Will be linked to Slashdot.

  • Are required for work. Give me $x billion and I am more than happy to stop using email.

  • I believe this is perfectly illustrated here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALbH63Ali9U [youtube.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Did they normalize in their studies for the fact that many people who might use alcohol or tobacco have had other forces acting on their behavior besides the addiction to the substance, such as the fear of cancer or cirrhosis , the obvious cost of the addiction in cash, social acceptability of indulgence, versus the non-cancer causing (generally, now that CRT's are mostly gone, along with the barrage of X-Rays...) non liver-damaging, socially encouraged, and mostly free option of social media... I kind of d

  • If something so easily available is more addictive than cigarettes that's a really serious problem. Do Facebookers get the shakes if they go a long time without status updates? Would they step outside into freezing cold weather for a Facebook break if they couldn't get a signal indoors?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    As someone who has smoked for almost 20 years and had Facebook since it was only available on a few college campus but now only uses it as a rolodex and ocasional IM service, I assure you, this is just plain STUPID.

    • by iggymanz (596061)

      that's just because your primary addiction, smoking, is interfering with your facebook habit.

  • by mmmmbeer (107215) on Monday February 06, 2012 @09:58AM (#38941709)

    This is along the same lines as the claims that tobacco is more addictive than heroin. It's not a fair comparison. The desire for a serious drug is offset by the immediate and serious side effects, so people have a stronger incentive to resist. Indulging in a lesser drug has fewer immediate down sides. Indulging in social media has little to no adverse effects. A much better way to compare addictiveness would be to compare the effects of withdrawal.

  • Then ban Facebook.

    Sounds like a fair trade to me.

    Also please get rid of these excessive taxes on alcohol and cigarettes. If I'm going to kill myself, at least leave me some money for medical care.

  • "Researchers also found that while sleep and sex may be stronger urges than certain drug addictions" Thank you researchers! After 10000+ years of existence we finally know physical necessities (unless one takes up monasticism) could be stronger urges than drugs ! That's extremely fascinating! With enough funding advanced research should finally be able to prove comsuming water and breathing to be even more addictive than sleeping and sex! The FDA should work closely with deep pocket pharmaceutica

Little known fact about Middle Earth: The Hobbits had a very sophisticated computer network! It was a Tolkien Ring...

Working...