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Cigarettes and Social Media
By: Christine Geraci
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Social media: More addictive than cigarettes. Say what, now?
This study, conducted by the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, should give you a chuckle...or a shudder, depending on how you look at it. 
A bit more than 200 people were given BlackBerrys and told to report, within set time frames, when they felt desires. They rated the strength of their desires, as well as whether or not they gave in to them.
Of the "desires" reported, social networks produced the "highest rate of failure," meaning participants simply could not resist urges to check Facebook, Twitter, and the like.
They say denial is the mark of a true addict. Well, in that case, interpret the following any way you like.
Social media is not an addiction. It is a method of communication. However, just like cigarettes, or alcohol, or shopping, or action figure-collecting, it can become an addiction if:
  • It disrupts your daily life, rather than enhancing it. 
  • It negatively interferes with your job (unless, of course, it is your job). 
  • It ruins your relationships. 
  • It isolates you from the people you love.
  • It makes you do questionable things for money.
Okay, so that last one is a joke. But seriously: Equating social media use with excessive cigarette, alcohol, or drug use is just ludicrous. These are toxic substances no matter how you look at them. Social media only becomes toxic when it consumes you, to the detriment of your in-person relationships and professional life. 
Would you agree?

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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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