By Aldo Panessidi
The brain continues to reveal little mysteries and idiosyncrasies that help us to better understand human behavior – especially around our less than stellar choices and vices. Alcohol, drugs, soda, food – these are all known triggers for pleasure centers of the brain. As is online gaming, so it is really no surprise that social media is also addicting. According to a team at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, the networking sites available at the touch of a button could be even more addicting than nicotine or alcohol. Consumers engage in social media through the unlocked cell phones, tablet, iPod and MacBook devices
Retrevo conducted an exceptional report on Social Media use.... truly this is The Mobile Generation:
Social Media All Through the Night
Not only do social media fanatics check Facebook and Twitter throughout the day, almost half of the respondents said they check in on the social media scene in bed, during the night or as soon as they wake up in the morning. Naturally, younger social media users said they tweet by night more than
those over 25.
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Need more evidence that social media can be habit forming? How about the fact that 56% of social media users need to check Facebook at least once a day? Even more impressive are the 12% who check in every couple of hours.
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Just to round out the picture, the Gadgetology study asked consumers how they felt about being interrupted at various times and occasions for an electronic message. With everyone texting away on their phones these days, we weren't surprised to see over 40% of respondents saying they didn't mind being interrupted for a message. In fact, 32% said a meal was not off limits while 7% said they'd even check out a message during an intimate moment.
Will Twitter Kill the Morning News Shows?
Among social media users, it appears almost half are so involved with Facebook and Twitter that they check in the first thing in the morning. With 16% of social media users saying this is how they get their morning “news,” could we be witnessing the first signs of social media services beginning to replace "Good Morning America" on TV as the source for what's going on in the world? Can they also provide more stimulation than a morning cup of coffee?
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Another study was in Germany where the 205 participants were polled through BlackBerry smartphones seven times daily where they had to note if they’d had an urge to use social media in the past 30 minutes and if the participant succumbed to the desire or not. They were also asked to rate the severity of the desire on a scale of mild to “irresistible.”
The full results will be published in the Psychological Science journal, but the preliminary data shows that compared to other addictive behavior, the highest rate of “self-control failures” were in conjunction with social media.
According to the team lead of the study, Wilhelm Hofmann, “Modern life is a welter of assorted desires marked by frequent conflict and resistance, the latter with uneven success.” With traditional addictions, the downside is clear: weight gain, death, monetary loss, damaged relationships. Social networking is more sinister, innocuous, and incredibly accessible. But the downsides are potentially still there in the form of lost time, and frayed relationships (because let’s be honest, how many conversations are conducted on Facebook while sitting on the couch next to a significant other).
So what’s the answer? With tablets, cloud storage, smart TVs and smartphones our connectivity is set to reach an all-time high. The consequences of compulsively checking a social networking site while driving are more clear-cut than intangible time-suck. So if you count yourself as one of the addicted, Bluetooth headset technology solutions and innovative car accessories could be necessary purchases for your handset.