A soon-to-be released study is suggesting that email and social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, are more addictive than alcohol and cigarettes.
The study, which was conducted in the German city of Würtzburg, was comprised of 205 adults between the ages of 18 and 85. Participants wore devices to record their daily desires. According to the University of Chicago News, Asst. Prof. Wilhelm Hofmann of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and colleagues presented their research in San Diego on Jan. 27 at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Roy Baumeister of Florida State University and Kathleen Vohs of the University of Minnesota co-authored the study. Researchers found the individuals were more compulsive when it came to things such as checking email or social media accounts. There were 10,558 responses to contacts made by researchers and a total of 7,827 reports about daily desires were recorded. In analyzing the data compiled, researchers discovered, despite the fact cigarettes and alcohol are generally thought of as addictive, the strong desire for electronic communications appears to trump these two items. Overall, food, sleep and sex were the strongest desired, however when it came to resistance to desires, social media was the weakest link. The Guardian reported "self-control failure rates" were recorded with media.