Facebook More Addictive Than Alcohol, Tobacco

The desire to frequently check social media such as Facebook and Twitter leads to stronger addiction than alcohol or cigarettes, according to a survey. "Texting and checking Facebook and Twitter come in just below sex and sleep on impossible to resist urges," business magazine Forbes quoted a study by the University of Chicago last Friday as saying.

A team led by Wilhelm Hofmann at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business studied 205 adults aged 18-85 in Wurtzburg, Germany who were given Blackberries. The findings will be carried in the journal Psychological Science.

The team sent tweets to the subjects seven times over 14 hours a day for seven days, and watched if they checked them and text-replied after experiencing a conflict of desires or struggling with the urge within 30 minutes.

The team confirmed that the subjects felt strong urges, to which most of them responded. It is relatively difficult to resist urges to check social media because they are useful and cost nearly nothing, Hofmann said.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 06, 2012 09:13 KST