Social Media Addiction: Studies Find It Is As Bad As Smoking

By Duna Bil , Jan 07, 2017 12:07 PM EST

The urge to check out Facebook or Twitter first thing in the morning without even saying hello to loved ones first, constitutes social media addiction, an experts says. It is also likened to gambling, alcoholism, and even smoking.

 Additionally, a new study finds that more people report of wanting to quit using Facebook and other social media platforms than people who want to stop smoking.

For those who want to quit constantly checking news feeds on their social media sites, to curb social media addiction, they face greater challenge than those who want to quit smoking.

According to a previous study, people who use social media are bombarded with more advertising to use one than people who smoke were exposed to cigarette promotions in the 1960s.

TED talk sensation and author, Simon Sinek, stresses that growing up in a "Facebook-Instagram World" poses more health risks than excessive alcohol drinking or smoking, the 9 Honey, says.

He further elaborates that social media dependency is similar to smoking in that both are harmful to relationships, health, personal happiness, and coping mechanisms.

Like most addictions, it costs people their time, money, and makes their lives worst. But unlike smoking, social media use delves much deeper into people's psyche. The need for validation seem to be the main reason for people's addiction over it.

According to The Spec, previous studies have also connected the addiction to depression. People who frequently find themselves emerged in social media are actually more prone to depression as they see themselves comparing with other people's lives.

In terms of the addiction, Sinek says that the main reason why people feel the need to use social media is due to the dopamine that are released when checking phones. This is the same neurochemical that gets people high when smoking.

With similarities of social media addiction and smoking, experts are optimistic that strategies to help people quit the problem are challenging yet doable.

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