Twitter Is More Addictive Than Cigarettes, Alcohol [study]
People resist smoking and drinking more than tweeting
When you can't find your cigarettes, you get mad but you buy more. When you run out of liquor, you get agitated, but you can buy more.
But, what do you do when the fail whale pops up on your screen? You click refresh repeatedly, until you just have to find something else to, like check to see if twitter is working on your phone.
Researchers at Chicago University's Booth Business School conducted a experiment in the German city of Würtzburg where they gave 205 people Blackberry devices and messaged them throughout the day for over a week to see what urges they were fighting.
Participants reported that they had resisted urges to play sports, have sex, smoke a cigarette and have a drink. But when it came to tweeting, they could hardly do it.
"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," said study co-author Wilhelm Hofmann. "With cigarettes and alcohol there are more costs – long-term as well as monetary – and the opportunity may not always be the right one."