Every night I find myself in bed for longer than I should be due to my phone being right beside me. I am guilty of staying on Twitter and Facebook at untimely hours of the night. It’s mindless scrolling for hours. Funny thing, though, when I was younger I vowed myself to never make a twitter. I was forced to make one for my high school in order to tweet about the class. Then I started getting my followers up and it was the start of my addiction.
My father has complained several times about my obsession with social media and my phone. He calls it an addiction, I wonder what makes them so addictive and how addictive are they?
Upon my research about my obsession, I found multiple studies trying to crack the code of the addiction. According to this article, their studies found that Twitter can be as addictive as cigarettes and alcohol. Which sounds extremely alarming. We think of twitter as just a social media platform, not something as harmful as cigarettes or alcohol. The observational study led by Wilhelm Hofmann involved blackberries and 205 German city citizens. Their results are eventually going to be printed in the Psychological Science, therefore means they don’t suffer from the file drawer problem. This week long observational study consisted of the participants texting the researchers if they have urges to use social media. This article by James Meikle doesn’t describe the correlation between cigarettes and twitter to the fullest extent. Which makes me wonder if this experimental study suffers from the Texas Sharp Shooter problem. According to Meikle, the relationship between the results of twitter being more addictive is due to the low cost of the app compared to the expensive cost of alcohol and cigarettes. This study might have studied a wide amount of addictions and they just seem to have found a correlation with cigarettes and twitter. According to this Fox News article the total amount of responses they receive over a course of a week was 10,558 and of that total 7,827 experienced a desire to use social media.
There seems to be no mechanism right now to describe why twitter is more addictive than cigarettes apparently. There could be a lot of human error and lying participants that can affect the results of this study. I feel like anxiety plays a big part of my addiction to this app.
I personally think everything in moderation is the key to not over do or under do anything. So if you think you have a twitter obsession like me, maybe moderation will be your best best. But based on the study I don’t think there’s sufficient evidence that it’s as harmful as cigarettes and alcohol.