Checking Facebook or Twitter is more tempting than sex or cigarettes, says study
Checking social networking sites is more tempting than sex and cigarettes, a study has revealed. Researchers at Chicago University’s Booth Business School used BlackBerrys to log reports about participants’ willpower and desires over seven days.The online poll of 250 participants in Germany revealed the yearning to interact through tweets, photos, and comments was stronger than sex and cigarettes. Over seven consecutive days participants were signalled seven times a day over 14 hours, reported the Guardian. This meant they were required to message back and inform if they were experiencing a desire at that moment or had experienced one within the last 30 minutes. They had to identify what the desire was and how strong they felt it was, as well as if it conflicted with other desires and what decision they had made – whether to accept or resit the pull. The results showed Facebook, Twitter or other social networks yearnings were ranked as the hardest desires to resist. Wilhelm Hofmann, the study’s lead author, reasoned that because social media is more readily accessible than other stimulants it is harder to turn down. He also suggested it strikes a high note in terms of desire because in the case, of cigarettes and alcohol, social media is also a lot cheaper. ‘Desires for media may be comparatively harder to resist because of their high availability and also because it feels like it does not cost much to engage in these activities, even though one wants to resist,’ Mr Hofmann, , told the newspaper. The study also showed that the more participants tried to resist doing something, the higher their craving to do so became. It also revealed that work was a fierce addiction as people found it easier to resist sports, sex and spending money than getting on with work. The results will soon be published in the journal Psychological Science.