Social media networks such as Facebook are extremely addictive. Studies show that most people check, update and interact on social sites constantly throughout the day. In addition, they really have no clear idea of how much actual time they spend doing this.
If you’re a social media addict, and your addiction is getting worse, says Mike Elgan – there’s a reason for that: Most of the major social network companies, as well as social content creators, are working hard every day to make their networks so addictive that you can’t resist them.
Cornell Information Science published research earlier this month that looked at (among other things) the difficulty some people have in quitting Facebook and other social networks. They even have a label for the failure to quit: “social media reversion.” The study used data from a site called 99DaysofFreedom.com, which encourages people to stop using Facebook for 99 days.
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An excerpt from a story done by CBS News reveals that, according to a 2012 study posted on the National Institutes of Health website, “Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) ruins lives by causing neurological complications, psychological disturbances, and social problems.” It is still not officially listed as a psychiatric disorder in the bible of psychiatric disease, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), though the more narrowly defined Internet Gaming Addiction was added in May 2013.
Other subtypes of Internet addiction — such as social media addiction — have not been studied enough to receive their own clinical definitions or treatment recommendations. But some of the research on Internet addiction in general may shed light on Thibault’s observations about social media.
Psychiatrist and neuroscience researcher Sean Luo of Columbia University told CBS News studies have shown that “3.7 to 13 percent of U.S. and 10 percent of South Korean Internet users express some symptoms of inappropriate Internet use.” He estimates that at least 1 percent of Internet users worldwide need treatment.