Dependence on social media grows

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - 10:05am

10,000 tweets per second. That's how many hits Twitter reported it received during the last several seconds of Sunday's Super Bowl. Now a University of Chicago study shows we may be more dependent on social media than we realize.

The study tracked 200 respondents over a week and tracked their self-reported impulses, including the urge to smoke, sleep, drink alcohol or use social media. It found that those who wanted to use social media had the lowest rate of impulse control when it came to resisting those urges. So does this qualify as addiction?

Dr. Bruce McCormick of Family Psychology in Shreveport said it's a different kind of compulsion than an alcohol or drug addiction, mostly because the physiological effects don't exist. However, that can still have an impact on daily life. "When it takes the place of real, honest to goodness, person-to-person interaction as social networking often does, than it can be detrimental," he said.

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