Addiction is a disease that many people struggle with daily. There is even a reality show, My Strange Addiction, dedicated to the topic on TLC. There is seemingly an endless amount of things to be addicted to. However, I never expected Twitter to appear on the list. According to a research study done at the University of Chicago, Twitter is harder to resist than cigarettes and alcohol. Also according to the study, sleep and sex produce stronger urges yet people are more susceptible to giving into social media cravings.
Twitter is harder to resist than drinking or smoking….let that sink for a moment. Ok, so does that make sense? Yes and no.
Being a millenial, as well as Public Relations major, I fully understand the addictive nature of social media. It’s engaging, provides insight into other people’s lives, serves as a great business tool, and is just simply fun to use. The surge in social media’s popularity probably does not make resisting the urge any easier. It’s usually a lot easier to talk yourself into something when you use the faithful excuse of “well…everybody else is doing it.”
Twitter being harder to resist than alcohol or cigarettes also makes sense because, unlike those two substances, there are not as many serious health risks or concerns. Yes, if I tweet all day for a few years I might develop a pretty nasty case of carpal tunnel syndrome, but that is far less serious than lung cancer or liver disease.
Some people might tell you that it is actually a job requirement for them to be addicted to social media. They need to be plugged in to what’s happening right now, what the newest trend is, and what consumers are saying. This logic makes sense, to a certain degree. Yes, there are those who work in fields, such as Public Relations, where social media holds a much higher significance, but that doesn’t mean that checking Twitter and Facebook obsessively is the way to go about things.
Social media is everywhere, which certainly makes it a little harder to resist. Also, unlike cigarettes and alcohol, it usually is free to use. That being said, an addiction of any kind is a concern. However, if I said four years ago that people urged to use social media more than cigarettes and alcohol, you would have thought I was crazy. My, how times are changing…