Thursday 11 May 2017

Facebook Can Be As Addictive As Smoking A Cigarettes


New research has suggested that Facebook is as addictive as cigarettes and chocolate - and just seeing the logo can set off cravings in users.

For some, it’s revealed, the mere sight of the blue Facebook logo is enough to give a buzz, making it impossible for addicts to resist logging on.

Severe social media addicts need only to see the iconic ‘f’ to make them stop what they’re doing and rush to visit the site.

Researchers from Vrije University in Amsterdam studied 200 people and found that showing frequent Facebook users the social media giant’s logo sparked spontaneous ‘hedonic reactions’.

These pleasure receptors are similar to those of seeing someone light up a cigarette.

Less regular social media users were found to be completely unaffected by seeing the blue Facebook logo.

A follow-up experiment, published in journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking, measured participants’ desire to use Facebook, finding that there was a direct link between the level of craving and the reaction to the logo.

Co-author Dr Brenda Wiederhold said: “Findings in this study seem to be in line with previous research on cues and cravings in foods - such as chocolate - and substances, such as nicotine.”

The news comes as researchers from UC San Diego found that spending time on Facebook has overwhelmingly negative effects - such as a reduction in mental health and life satisfaction.

The study analysed Facebook users over two years – looking at how they used the site, and how they felt during and after their social media 'fix'.

More than 5,000 volunteers were asked questions on life satisfaction, self-reported mental health, self-reported physical health, and body-mass index.

The results showed that – unlike having real-world friendships - engaging with others over Facebook can make users feel more isolated.



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